This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is here. Topline Westminster voting intention figures are CON 34%, LAB 37%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%. Net doing well/badly figures for the main party leaders are minus 7 for David Cameron, minus 42 for Ed Miliband, minus 55 for Nick Clegg. David Cameron’s figure is his best since March 2012 (before the Omnishambles budget), Ed Miliband’s his worst since last September. There’s also some notable landmarks in the economic trackers – 45% now think the government are managing the economy well, 45% badly, you have to go all the way back to December 2010 to find the last time those there equal. Asked about the current state of the economy only 36% now think it is in a bad way, the lowest since YouGov started asking this question in 2010. Underneath the distorting effect of the European elections on voting intention economic perceptions do seem to be continuing to shift.

For the European elections voting intention figures are CON 23%, LAB 27%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 26%, GRN 9%. This seems to be where YouGov’s European polling has settled down at over the last week or two – Labour and UKIP in a very tight race for first place, the Conservatives in third, the Greens and Lib Dems in a very tight race for fourth place. UKIP could still come top – their voters say they are more likely to actually come out and vote on the day and if you take only those people who say they are 10/10 certain to vote UKIP would be narrowly ahead (YouGov don’t usually filter or weight by likelihood to vote away from general election campaign polls or final call polls).

Comparing voting intentions in the European Parliament and for a general election, just under a quarter of current Conservative voters and one in ten Labour voters say they are backing UKIP in the European election. Or looking at it from the opposite angle, of those people saying they’ll vote UKIP in the European election, only around half would vote UKIP in a general election tomorrow, just under a third would vote Tory (and that’s the mythical general election “tomorrow”, as opposed to how people’s opinions will actually evolve over the next year.)

Europe and immigration are the only issues where people know what UKIP stand for. 42% say they know what UKIP’s policy is on immigration and Europe (and a majority have at least some sort of idea of their direction), for other issues the figure is 7-8%. Even most UKIP voters don’t claim to know what the party’s policy is on things like education and the NHS… but then, those are the sort of things that drive UKIP support. For people voting UKIP in the European election, 39% say it is because they are unhappy with Britain’s membership of the EU. 22% say is it because of immigration. 14% because they are unhappy with the main parties and 14% say it is to send a message or put pressure on the main parties.

People are now split down the middle over whether UKIP are racist or not – 41% think they are, 40% think they are not. On balance people do, however, think UKIP are deliberately trying to appeal to racist voters – 46% say they are, 30% don’t agree. UKIP’s supporters themselves overwhelmingly reject the charge – 93% of UKIP voters think the party are not racist, presumably explaining why the attacks aren’t damaging UKIP more: the people being convinced that UKIP are racist aren’t the sort of people who were voting for them anyway.

50% of people think the coalition have run out of ideas and things to do, 22% think they’ve still got enough ideas for the last year of Parliament. 44% of people would like a general election this year (including the majority of Labour supporters) 44% would like an election in May 2015 as planned (including the majority of Lib Dems and Conservatives).

Asked generally 30% of people think Nick Clegg should continue as Lib Dem leader, 43% think he should be replaced. However, these are largely people opposed to the Lib Dems anyway – amongst their own voters (a small sample size, given the depths they’ve reached!) 62% think he should stay, 25% he should go. In the event the Lib Dems finish behind the Greens then only 46% of Lib Dem voters would want him to stay, 37% would want him to go. In terms of successors, 20% think Vince Cable would be better, 25% think he would be worse. For Danny Alexander and Tim Farron most of the public say they don’t really know enough about them to have an opinion.

There were also two Scottish referendum polls in this morning’s papers. I’ll post separately on them later.

54 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday TImes – CON 34, LAB 37, LD 9, UKIP 13”

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  1. Both Westminster and EP polls stabilising.

  2. Yes this does seem to be slightly more normal, although with the Green figure still a big question mark as to where it’ll go once the sea has settled.

  3. 37% isn’t a bad score for Labour at all & if some Green voters can be weaned back to the Labour fold it still has the capacity to improve further. There does seem to be a coalescing of the right-wing vote back towards the Conservatives. But if indeed Labour is still around or just over 3% ahead – that’s been the message the last few days – it should still be at worst competitive in the general election. It would then hang on how the marginals do, and the good Lord Ashcroft (pardon my irony) will give us some useful snapshots on that question in a few days. Miliband’s dreadful ratings are not currently having much impact on voting intentions and perhaps won’t matter very much if extremely negative perceptions of the Conservative Party, and much more positive ones of the Labour Party, persist.

  4. I am pleased with the Green figure, but the Euros are the only media window they get.

    After that, it will be desert of media coverage again, so I expect their VI to slip back.

    The next year will be promoted as a Conservative vs Labour head to head. I think that both UKIP and the Greens will fall back.

  5. Horrendous rating for Miliband in this poll, the debate will soon shift to ‘who leads’ as the election nears.

  6. Crickey, Pressman, you’ve never expressed that opinion before. It’s good to read something new from you.

  7. Defeatist Uber-Blairite and some bloke called Tristan in disloyalty shocka:

    This seems to be a standard shot of adrenaline for newspapers to put out whenever they want to make the race seem more interesting. Actual dissent and disloyalty among the party on the ground seems very low.

  8. I take it there is no online swingometer for the European elections?

    Despite the volatility of the European polls between pollsters there is one clear pattern. UKIP, Con and Lab have each been consistently polling above 20% and LD and Greens have consistently been polling below 10%.

    On this basis and ignoring heavy regional variations this means the first 6 seats in any given region will be split between UKIP, Con and Lab.

    This leaves us with only 4 regions where LD and Green have any chance. Even then if the top party of any region hits 30% (a statistical likelihood) then there will be a 3rd seat for them and no seats for LD and Green.

    In the case of the poll above with LD and Green on 9% each (not untypical and if anything on the higher range of LD and Green support) that would mean a 27% for the top party will get them the seat over and above the LDs and Greens. It is also very possible that in some regions there will be two parties who get over 27%.

    It therefore seems to me quite possible that Greens and LD will not get any seats at all. I guess there will be regional variations and maybe LD have a chance in the South West and maybe Greens and LD in London but they will be very much relying on one of the three top parties performing badly in a particular region.

    Of the three regions that have higher number of seats on offer the North West does not look good for either LD or Green- LD vote has collapsed there and Green was not especially great last time. South East looks possible for both Green and LD but maybe not both and London the most likely place for Greens (not so sure about LDs). South West seems quite possible to be 3 Con and 3 UKIP with LD hoping their vote holds up enough to sneak in and Green likewise.

  9. Pressman you keep repeating that mantra, I believe we have all now read it.
    We know your occupation are going to give Ed Milliband a thorough nasty going over.
    It could be a decisive factor in a close election,but demeans the democratic process.

  10. @Shevii

    Yorkshire and Humber are a target for a Green seat. It’s looking quite close to happening….

  11. If you take out that slightly anomalous poll last weekend that had Labour on 38 and seven points ahead, today’s YouGov gives Labour’s highest VI rating, by any pollster, since the end of April; ironic when you see the sub-question responses on Miliband and the economy. In that context, I’m intrigued by Anthony’s comment/assumption that this poll needs to be viewed in the light of “the distorting effect of the European elections on voting intention”. Really? If that influence was skewing this poll, why would Labour and the Tories have their best VI ratings for some time and UKIP one of their lowest by recent standards?

    While YouGov tends to be a bit kinder to Labour and Tory, and therefore a bit harsher to Lib Dem and UKIP, today’s poll showing a Labour lead of 3% seems very much in line with all the other “post-earthquake” polls this week and pretty close to where we were beginning to settle “pre-earthquake”.

    In other words, I sense business as usual and the European election polls are telling us that voters are quite capable of distinguishing between that rather unique ballot and the Westminster polls/local council elections. I don’t deny the increased profile that the Greens and UKIP will be getting, and the momentum that UKIP continue to enjoy, but I see nothing in this YouGov poll today that points to any distorting effect that the European elections might be having on current polling.

    To prove my point, dive back into the archives. We were seeing 37/34/9/13 type configurations months ago. Just to start the game off, I’ll give you one in March, two months ago and way before the Euro elections were even a twinkle in Farage’s eye!

    Of course, why Miliband’s unpopularity and the improving economy isn’t translating into an improved Tory VI is a completely different debate, probably for another time, but it’s a continually intriguing element in all this nonetheless.

    Maybe it will be alright on the night, but the that night draws ever closer.

  12. Just to cheer up the Lab folk…the average of the four polls prior to last week’s 7 point lead poll was 2.0%, while the average of the four polls prior to this 3 point lead was 1.5%.

    Will we see crossover in Yougov over the next four polls? Will Labour’s 3%+ leads be maintained?

    Bite those nails! :))

  13. @Crossbat,

    I think you need to go back and look at the polls of a year ago.

    Miliband’s unpopularity, and the improving economy, are very clearly translating into an improved Tory VI (and a lower Labour VI / Labour lead). Not enough of an improvement to put them on course for winning next year’s GE, that’s for sure, but steady progress nonetheless.

    It’s fair to say that it doesn’t really appear that the Euro elections are making any difference to the Tory vs Labour dynamic. I am one who has always been confident the Euros would see a boost to UKIP fortunes, and confident that after the Euros the only way for them would be down. I’ve never really bought the idea the the Euros would be some sort of springboard to even dizzier heights.

    What I am very curious about is the speed of UKIP decline from the Summer onwards, and where their lost votes go. Will they go back where they came from? Will it be in the same proportions to their arrival? Are some “new UKIPpers” more likely to revert than others (ie will Labour defectors go back but Tory xenophobes not, or vice versa?) What will be the new UKIP plateau and when will it be reached?

    I note that the left have been relatively confident that UKIP was more than a flash in the pan, and that they would keep their new voters, to the extreme detriment of Tory chances in 2015. The left have been much less confident that UKIP will keep their recently acquired ex-Labour voters. I have no idea if that’s right. The nightmare scenario would be that UKIP manages to detach the old Blue Labour “council house conservative” vote from Miliband, energise them with anti-immigrant and anti-EU fervour, and then see them vote tactically for the Tories because their priorities have changed. I don’t think that’ll happen, because UKIP’s appeal to them was fairly populist and left-wing, but nothing’s impossible.

  14. I think so many people are fed up with the crying wolf of ‘Waycism’ every time someone says some thing the left doesn’t approve of, that there’s a kick back for UKIP.
    The more they cry it, the more some people will push back against it.
    People have had enough of political correctness

  15. Beats me why BoringMan hasn’t been banned yet.

  16. UKIP peak every five years. They’re improving on their Euro performance each time but that may reflect a growing discontent with Europe.

    EU election to General Election change in percentage share of vote:

    2004 -> 2005
    Con +5.7
    Lab +12.6
    LD +7.1
    UKIP -13.9

    2009 -> 2010
    Con +8.4
    Lab +13.3
    LD +7.3
    UKIP -13.4

    Probably correlation rather than causation but not a trend to give comfort to either Tories or UKippers.

  17. @RogerH,

    Of course, EU elections, like all non-GE elections, probably go disproportionately badly for governing parties, so that may be a factor in the figures.

  18. Thoughtful
    I have read your post three times and i still can’t fathom what you are saying. What is ‘Waycism’?

  19. @mrnameless

    When Tristan Osborne was selected for Chatham and Aylesford in 2012 (at under 30 years of age) he did look a bit wet behind the years, but he appears to be sharpening up his presentation a bit.

    He has his work cut out going up against Tracey Crouch though. Medway is an interesting area. Labour held on the 3 MPs in 2005 by the skin of their teeth, but 2010 was a wipe-out due to boundary changes and a larger than national swing to the Conservatives. Local goverment results haven’t been that great for Labour. I guess Tristan is expressing his frustration about Labour’s lack of progress in what Anthony describes as “a tough, working-class town”.

  20. @Neil A

    Possibly. And of course two sets of figures hardly count as a trend. We really need half-a-dozen examples with the two elections separated by just a year so perhaps in 2034.

  21. Yes, like your typical racist is going to go round saying ‘oh yes I am a racist and proud of it’.
    UKIP are ploughing a pretty deep and dirty furrow. Its EU arguments on the other hand are pretty shallow.
    And scratch the surface a bit more and you get a streak of homophobia thrown in.

  22. Suddenly it is as if there were no EU election and everything is more or less back to how things were a month or two back. Not yet a trend, although it suggests Labour’s lead can be wiped away quite easily.

    I’ve still got this nagging feeling that Labour PPB a couple of weeks back backfired, but it’ll soon be forgotten so difficult to be certain.

  23. Sorry Howard, it’s the pathetic cry of people unsure of the meaning of the word, and unsure of whether it really applies, but use it anyway for the effect it can have.

  24. There is an on-going issue that Labour should be well ahead at this point in the electoral cycle if they are to win the next General Election, and they are not.

    That said, my observation is that the economy is overheating as for instance evidence by takeovers like Dixons/Carphone Warehouse and Pfizer’s bid for Astra Zeneca. The housing market is also in a “bubble”, a matter of personal concern to me as I cam currently house-hunting. These are traditionally indicators of an impending “crash”, which may well come this Autumn.

    Cameron might well be advised to manouvre an election in the near future. Is he allowed to call it for the same date as the Scottish Referendum, September 18th. if I recollect rightly? That might be a good date for him.

    There is an interesting article in today’s “Sunday Times” about Miliband and in particular about David Axelroyd. One point is that the £300,00 fee that Axelroyd is being paid is chicken feed for Axelroyd. The reason he is giving this, in my opinion not terribly well informed, advice, is Obama’s desire for a left-leaning Government in the UK.

    On the whole I want a leftward leaning Government, but do we really want another Blair-style regime more interest in alliance with the United States than in representing the real interests of less well off British voters. It seems to me that this is in itself an incitement for disillusioned voters to support UKIP. It is made worse by Miliband’s status as the son of immigrants with no substantial roots outside the “Westminster village”.

    P.S. Has anybody else noticed than in the past week, according to “The Times”, Axelroyd has misspelt Miliband’s name as “Milliband”.

  25. “There is an on-going issue that Labour should be well ahead at this point in the electoral cycle…”

    It’s not an issue, it’s an opinion. There’s another opinion that national polls during an EU election campaign are unreliable.

  26. KeithP

    ‘I’ve still got this nagging feeling that Labour PPB a couple of weeks back backfired, but it’ll soon be forgotten so difficult to be certain.’

    I bet more than around 2/3rds of the electorate didn’t see it and, of those that did, 99% had forgotten it within the week. It is only us politics geeks that take much notice of such things, particularly when it isn’t for the GE.

  27. Axelroyd ?

  28. Frederic Stansfield

    ‘That said, my observation is that the economy is overheating as for instance evidence by takeovers like Dixons/Carphone Warehouse and Pfizer’s bid for Astra Zeneca.’

    Why is that evidence that the economy is overheating?

  29. RogerH

    ‘It’s not an issue, it’s an opinion.’

    It’s more than merely an ‘opinion’ it is based on evidence from previous election cycles (eg see below from 1991-1992), which show how quickly a lead a year out can turn into a deficit on election day.

    Conservative – Labour – Liberal

    Audience Selection 1991-06-01* 41 42 13 -1
    MORI/Sunday Times 1991-05-28 37 43 16 -6
    ICM/Daily Mail 1991-05-25 37 41 16 -4
    NOP/Independent 1991-05-20 36 44 15 -8
    Audience Selection 1991-05-18* 39 39 19 0
    Harris/Observer 1991-05-16 38 42 16 -4
    ICM/Guardian 1991-05-11 37 43 16 -6

    General Election result 1992 – 42 – 34 – 18

    MORI/Evening Standard 1986-06-24 34 40 23 -6
    Gallup/Telegraph 1986-06-16 34 39 24.5 -5
    Marplan/Guardian 1986-06-16 33 39 26 -6
    Harris/Observer 1986-06-12 31 40 25 -9
    MORI/Evening Standard 1986-05-21 32 40 26 -8

  30. Thoughtful
    Ah, I see, but not from your explanation. ‘Waycism’ is your way of spelling ‘racism’, perhaps to avoid wordpress. I shall now discover if this results in racism being word-pressed.

    Axelroyd – :-) – well seen!

  31. Sorry, it posted before I had finished.

    The latter figures showed 1986/87, the 1987 election finishing 42/30 in the Conservatives’ favour. Yes, of course, I know there were problems with polling methodology at this time which have since been addressed, but I cannot believe that was the only explanation for these quite substantial changes in the shares of the two main parties.

  32. No it doesn’t, so something else learned.

    On the ST polling, we are all wondering what cused that sudeen narrowing a while back, but there are no convincing explanations, I had it down to bank holiday, but i may as well have blamed it on the moon, which has kept me awake recently and most annoyingly.

  33. Labour misspelled Axelrod’s name as Alexrod in the press release when he was hired. So they’re even. :-)

  34. RosieandDaisie,

    In response to your question from a couple of threads ago, the username has nothing to do with anonymity, merely never being able to think of usernames.

  35. Barnaby Marder

    37% isn’t a bad score for Labour at all & if some Green voters can be weaned back to the Labour fold it still has the capacity to improve further.

    But, for Westminster, Labour isn’t losing substantial 2010 votes to the Greens – usually only about a point at most. It’s the Lib Dems who are losing most to them. Some of these people may have gone to Labour in the interim and they may well go back there in 2015, but it’s not a substantial movement.

    Clearly more Labour voters (and extra Lib Dems) will switch to Green for the Euros – though Greens might retort to that it was more a case of Greens being forced to cast their votes for other Parties due to FPTP.

  36. Newforestradical. Takover bids and inflated housing market’s suggest that people in the know are wanting to take the money and run before a crash.

  37. @NFR

    You appear to be undermining your own argument. Your figures demonstrate that it’s not necessary to have a poll lead a year before winning an election. Labour is doing better now than were the Tories in 1986 or 1991.

  38. @Thoughtful

    Dan Axelroyd. He ain’t afraid of no UKIP pre-election boast.

  39. I know this is a site for people keen on polls, but to win an election what is needed is to have more votes on election day. Polls (especially individual polls) are a fundamentally rather inaccurate way to try to predict whether that will happen.

  40. @Frederic Stansfield – ” …another Blair-style regime more interested in alliance with the United States”

    It’s hard to see how the UK could be any more in alliance with the US than it is already… at least in terms of the doctrine of military complimentarity, strategic defence, intelligence gathering, national security apparatus etc. I can’t see that changing any time soon.

    What could change is that at the moment we are enjoying a resonably pacific times, but there is always the possibility of another bellicose administration returning to the White House.

    If that came after a Cameron referendum… and Conservatives are moving closer to recommending a withdrawl from the EU (or at the very least reduced membership)… then we could see an ascendency for Atlantic Bridge type Conservatives on both sides of the water.

    I think there’s a case to be made that the Blair FO used other alliances (and UN delays) to somewhat stall the Bush/Cheyney momentum to take down Baghdad, Damascus and Tehran simultaneously.

  41. I doubt that the outcome of an EU referendum will be decided by what recommendation the Tories might make.

  42. @DAVE

    “to win an election what is needed is to have more votes on election day. ”

    You’re right. That’s the problem with real elections they get in the way of polls and our endless speculation. They’re no fun at all.

  43. @ RogerH

    ‘You appear to be undermining your own argument. Your figures demonstrate that it’s not necessary to have a poll lead a year before winning an election. Labour is doing better now than were the Tories in 1986 or 1991.’

    I suspect you are either being deliberately obtuse or eristic.

    What the figures show are significant Labour leads a year out from a GE which were easily turned around – and then some – during the following year. One obviously has to be careful about drawing lessons from the past, but these examples are at least a caution against viewing Labour’s current lead as a solid indication of where we will be this time next year.

  44. @ Frederic Stansfield

    Is there any theoretical or empirical support for the idea that increased takeover/merger activity precedes a crash or significant downturn?

  45. “to win an election what is needed is to have more votes on election day. ”

    Ah if only it was as simple as that, and with Proportional Rep it might be, but the FPtP system is very different, and a party can actually win while getting fewer votes because of the way constituencies are constructed.

    Na h-Eileanan an Iar the smallest constituency by population has 21,837 voters (2010)

    While the largest, The Isle of Wight has more than 5 times as many voters at 110,924

    The largest 5 constituencies have a total of 467794 voters a number equalled by the smallest 10 with over 3100 votes in hand.

    It would be therefore possible to have twice as many MPs with fewer votes. (making several obvious assumptions!)

  46. We mustn’t underestimate the impact of impersonation. The party calling itself An Independence from Europe is quite likely to deprive UKIP of a number of seats, just as the Literal Democrat candidate a decade ago deprived the Liberal Democrats of a seat.

  47. @NFR

    “Is there any theoretical or empirical support for the idea that increased takeover/merger activity precedes a crash or significant downturn?”

    I doubt it’s so direct although the hubris around RBS and Barclays competing to take over ABN AMRO was a bit of an indicator in recent times.

    There has been some talk of IPOs being rushed out onto the market whilst the going is good, on the basis that it won’t last and that has a bit more theoretical (at least) basis for predicting a crash.

    Takeovers (and indeed the housing market) normally suggest that ‘animal spirits’ are afoot which could mean either that things are genuinely looking up or that people are deluding themselves. The Pfizer move looks a bit more strategic/defensive to me: move HQ to doge tax; reduce R&D to milk short term margins. I believe that is Pfizer’s modus operandi.

    My own take is that the next downturn will come after the GE.

  48. @Thoughtful

    That’s sparked my interest.

    Does anyone know of a good map of UK constituencies by population level? I.e. with a very large Isle of Wight, and a very small Na h-Eileanan an Ia.


  49. AW
    I don’t know whether we discussed this previously, but I note the YG LTV question on ‘voting next Thursday’ did not have an option ‘have already voted’. If I was asked (having voted postally already) how likely are you to vote next Thursday, I might answer ‘No’ (which is the logical answer) or I might try and be helpful and answer ’10’ on the basis that gives YG a better result on ‘certainty to vote’.

    I believe that postal votes are now a substantial proportion of votes nowadays.

    Is that considered at YG Towers?

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