YouGov London polling

Over the last couple of days the Evening Standard have been reporting the contents of a new YouGov London poll – yesterday here and today here.

YouGov found London voting intentions of CON 35%(nc), LAB 45%(+3), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 8%(-2), GRN 4%(nc). Labour are up three since June, but this poll would still suggest Labour doing slightly worse in London than elsewhere (a ten point lead for Labour in London is a 4 point swing since the general election, whereas GB polls are currently showing a 5 1/2 point swing to Labour.)

YouGov also repeated a batch of questions about Boris Johnson returning to Parliament. 37% of Londonders now think it is reasonable for him to seek to return to Parliament in 2015, but 43% think he should not consider doing so until he has completed his term as mayor. If he were to be elected as an MP in 2015 50% think he should stand down as mayor immediately, 34% think it would be okay for him to do both for a year.

Finally today’s poll looked at the possible Labour candidates for London mayor. Tessa Jowell comes top… but only on 12%, narrowly ahead of Diane Abbott on 8%. Amongst London Labour voters Jowell also comes top, but still only on 16%. I think the reality is that questions like this are largely just a recognition contest… and none of the candidates are particularly well known (I haven’t seen anyone even bother asking who should succeed Boris as the Conservative candidate!)

454 Responses to “YouGov London polling”

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  1. @ Colin

    We live in Lelant, Redruth is the nearest stroke unit to us. She’s coming to live with us (and my Father-in-Law) once she’s given the all clear, keeps having little episodes though which are a bit worrying.

    The Air Show is on tomorrow, Helston will be one big traffic jam!

    Why on earth did you leave? Jobs, money, I suppose?

  2. Ofgem have today announced plans for controlling electricity pricing for the next 8 years from April 2015, leading to a saving for consumers of approx £12pa.

    [Snip. Comments policy please – Aw]

  3. @ Wes & @FV
    “Today’s YouGov – Con 34/Lab 35/LDem 8/UKIP 12
    Green 6
    SNP/PCY 3/BNP 1/Others 0

    Is that the first 6 for the Greens in YouGov?”

    I’m pretty sure it is. It follows a 7% on ComRes yesterday, a record for ComRes, (and a 5% from Populus in their latest, a record from them I think, as they are the pollster who regularly gives the lowest shares for Greens).
    IPSOS MORI also had Greens at 8%, a record for them, in their last set of results a couple of weeks ago.

    Taken alone you might dismiss, but taken together it is looking like something has happened recently to cause an upturn in Green fortunes.

  4. Bramley

    Well done Ofgem I say.

  5. Wow £12 pa. I’ll have to plan carefully how I spend that!


    My brother in law was in the Fleet Air Arm at Culdrose in the 70’s. Flew Sea Kings. He lived in Helston A lovely part of the country as I recall. Not been back since though. Is it still packed with grockles in the summer?

  6. “The Ebola virus, which has killed more than 670 people in West Africa, is a “threat” to the UK, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has told the BBC.”

    “Public Health England has issued a national alert to UK doctors amid fears the virus could spread.”


  7. Anthony

    I read post after post about how Ed Miliband / Ed Balls / Andy Burnham etc are no good. Clearly they are unmoderated if they can be seen.

    The single time I have criticised an MP & it gets zapped ?

    I don’t think I’m quite understanding how it works around here…..

    [As teachers say to six year olds, “If Nigel jumped in front of a bus would you do that to?”. I am not here all the time. I trust people to moderate their own beheaviour when I’m not, if they don’t, they end up getting put on moderation – AW]


    We left with regret-for family reasons.

    We could watch the Air Show at Culdrose for free from our back garden.

  9. @DrMibbles, Carfrew

    Yes, all those things were Ken.
    Boris has Introduced a cable car nobody uses, replaced efficient bendy buses with something popularly known as the Roastmaster due to its state of the art air conditioning, and introduced cycling superdeathtraps (sorry, superhighways).
    Because of this outstanding record, having underperformed Ken (vis a vis London Assembly elections) first time round, he outperformed Ken second time round.
    There’s no accounting for them thar voters.

  10. It seems more than coincidence that the fall in the Lab share to an unusual low of 35% with a lead of only 1% is accompanied by an unusual rise in the Green share to 6%.

    Some of those on the left who consider that five more years of the most right wing Conservative government in living memory ([snip] in their opinion) will be indistinguishable from a Labour administration will no doubt be egging the Greens on.

    But David Cameron will be joining them – a Green surge at Labour’s expense just as UKIP start to fade is the stuff of dreams for him.

  11. I think I’m right in saying “NHS” has high salience in OPs, and that Labour has a lead on it.

    Does anyone know of an OP in which people were asked why they thought it important & what their main concerns about it were.?

  12. Phil Haines,

    Exactly. Therefore there’ll be a lot of anti-Green literature going around from the Labour side. “WHO WINS IF YOU VOTE GREEN?” with a picture of a grinning David Cameron might actually be quite effective.


    I don’t think it’s been done but I’d certainly like to see it. No doubt we’ll get something if it remains a salient issue as the GE approaches.

  13. @Colin

    I like the Ipsos/MORI index much more than YouGov’s. People themselves define issues rather than have them selected for them, so by definition they must think them important. More important, it’s fairly obvious what the nature of concerns are from the way Ipsos/MORI then put those self defined issues into categories and from the responses of a wide variety of subgroups.

    Link to the tables is here. The second question of main/other important issues is I think the more meaningful.

  14. Mr Nameless,

    “there’ll be a lot of anti-Green literature going around from the Labour side. “WHO WINS IF YOU VOTE GREEN?” with a picture of a grinning David Cameron might actually be quite effective.”

    This was often ineffective with the LDs and the Alliance/Liberals before them. The surest strategy for Labour would be to wait 50 years for the Greens to be big enough to form a coalition with the Conservatives.

  15. With increased fiscal devolution heading north of the border, I’d like to see some heading to City Hall here in Lahndahn.

    Income tax, business taxes and stamp duty are all ripe for sharing between Whitehall and the City Hall. With the high cost of living, soaring housing costs plus runaway immigration, we have considerable socio-economic issues that need high-speed action.

    This would surely be a vote-winner but we don’t see any of the potential candidates openly campaigning for it. Curious.

  16. @Bill P

    We know that squeezing minor parties can work, and we know that the LDs have succesfully sqeezed the Labour and Tory vote, and that the SNP have squeezed everybody.; so why should the Greens be immune?

    You’re right that “Vote Alliance, Get Thatcher” didn’t play. Isn’t that because the “Alliance” didn’t look like a minor party?

    Not sure I can wait 50 years for a ConGreen Coalition – don’t like the idea of becoming a “struldbrug” – besides which we’ll probably be underwater by then, CO2 and all

  17. @Bill P. @Mr Nameless

    I think the Greens are tapping into a desire for a challenge to austerity line that Labour are not representing. My view is that Labour could best counter the Greens through positive policies containing a bit more red meat, particularly by ceasing to spin that they’ve all but accepted Conservative spending plans (they haven’t by any means if your read the detail, but for some insane reason Labour think that it’s in their interests to spin that they have).

    Putting out negative anti-Green literature would I think do a lot more harm to Labour than good, not least in giving what is still a fringe party the oxygen of publicity. In practice, the Ashcroft polling has shown that most Greens are in the “may change my mind” camp. I think most of those that vote will change when faced with the reality of FPTP, so the threat to Labour is exaggerated by polls taken at face value.

  18. @Bramley

    Most of the posts about the politicians you mentioned seem to be referencing their public image and popularity: whether their assumed rise to further public notice will affect the state of the polls in a few months time as the election comes closer.

    Let’s just agree to be cautious (not necessarily just here) about all politicians. None of them have all the answers all the time, but sometimes they get things right.

  19. “Let’s just agree to be cautious (not necessarily just here) about all politicians.”

    Well, here’s hoping your sensible proposal is applied to all of us.

  20. Phil Haines’ post about the IpsosMori index of issues prompted me to look to see whether there was any explanation there for the Greens polling well at the moment. gives the comparisons over time.

    The real noticable difference is decline in the salience of the Economy – from around 50% a year ago to 32-33% over the last couple of months.

    Could it be that as that some of that proportion of the electorate stop worrying about the economy so much, they don’t feel so pressured into putting self interest first in determining how they vote, and thus some switch to the Greens?

  21. Postage Included,

    I didn’t say that the tactic couldn’t work; I said that it was often ineffective.

    The Alliance didn’t look like a minor party in part because of 20 years of gradually and unevenly improving Liberal fortunes.

    Phil Haines,

    There always seems to be space on the left for either a more right-wing or more left-wing alternative to Labour. The Liberals and their successors challenged Labour from the right until Blair and then successfully from the left. What’s interesting at Westminster now is that Labour is essentially facing challenges from both the centre/centre-left (Clegg’s Lib Dems) and from the left (the Greens).

    In terms of navigating between these challenges and also PC/the SNP, I think that Miliband has had a tough job of developing a policy agenda that can handle both sorts of challenges, and based on the polling evidence he’s done well at that particular task.


    Thanks for that.

    The NHS question doesn’t really help to tease out the things which give it salience.

    I note that “Nationalisation / Government Control of Institutions has no saliency to speak of. So one could conclude that NHS concerns don’t include any to do with the use of Private Sector providers for NHS bservices.

    But it would be nice to understand this more clearly.

  23. Surely the greens are getting their vote from the libdem tendency?

  24. Reiterating my comments from yesterday: the polls are all over the place at the mo, giving hope to both Cons and Lab.

    Does the rise of the Green VI suggest that there is scope for lab in particular to include more green agenda items going forward to attract some of that group at GE 2015? I cannot see how Cons could expect to attract any votes from the greens given DC’s comments about ‘green crap’ and the Cons record in office since 2010.

  25. @ MrNameless and others

    I’d be very cautious about such glib slogans to Green voters such as “vote Green get Cameron”.

    There’s a built in advantage with the Cameron “let’s get rid of the Green crap” quote. However you are dealing with a highly educated section of the electorate with specific ideals. They will want to actually see Labour put policies on the table that meet with those ideals before they will vote for them. If you are of the view that the planet is being destroyed you’re not gonna be much fussed what the political parties are saying unless they are making headway on that.

    Also I think Labour have problems with their reputation on animal welfare which is a strong sub issue of Green politics (5% veggies/5% Green vote must have some correlation). I can’t dig up the document anywhere on the internet but they produced a “New deal for animals” leaflet in 1997. Memory serves me they had about 10 promises on that leaflet and only half heartedly kept about two minor ones on fur farms and hunting (the hunting left to a fudged private members bill). The major promises such as a royal commission on vivisection were totally ignored even when an animal rights extremist (even I think he was an extremist!) died from a hunger strike over this very issue. So particularly on this issue Labour will need some cast iron promises before anyone takes them seriously again.

    The recent increased vote for the Greens appears to have come largely from former Lib Dems- clearly they are still not ready to give Labour a chance and maybe haven’t been in the Labour camp for a long time.

    I do think the Green vote will drop closer to the election but I don’t think Labour applying tactical vote pressure will be the reason. That group will work it out for themselves and only Labour offering policies will convince them.

  26. As teachers say to six year olds, “If Nigel jumped in front of a bus would you do that to?”


    Well, they might if, unaccountably, Nige kept getting away with it.

    On the Green thing, it may be that Labour are spinning a line about being very parsimonious and stuff, because the enough of the electorate may have been convinced there is a need, but there isn’t necessarily a need to stick to this once achieving office.

    I know AW recently said that big cuts would be necessary whoever got in, and that may be the party line of both Labour and Tories, but there has been much pointed out on here to serve to counter this. One that hasn’t perhaps been explored on here, is that the Tories have handily come up wih a mechanism for boosting growth without much upfront spending, i.e. guarantees, and clearly Labour have seen they could usefully apply it elsewhere…

    The big question concerning greens is how much are they piling up votes in safe Labour seats, and how much they are grabbing votes in the marginals. Anyone got the data?…

  27. @Bill P

    Beg to differ on the Alliance. It looked like a major party because it had major figures at its head.* The Greens don’t look like that so they can be squeezed. As most of the squeezable element** of the Greens are disenchanted left LDs it must surely be worth a try.

    *By major figures I don’t mean David Steele, under whose leadership the Liberals lost a quarter of their vote in 1979, and a bit more in 1983. The gains in vote share of the Alliance, while it lasted, were entirely due to the SDP – not the Liberals.

    **By “squeezable LDs” I’m not referring to the Mango/Watermelon dived. Nor to that dishy Kitkat bloke in Brighton…

  28. …oops…for “dived” read “divide”.

  29. @ Carfrew

    I always thought the Greens potential was in university constituencies like Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge etc apart from Brighton of course and maybe one of the Leeds seats?

  30. @ Bramley

    You grasser!!

  31. @Hookes Law
    “Surely the greens are getting their vote from the libdem tendency?”

    That’s where a lot started out from, but it doesn’t mean that they’re more likely to go back there. This is the best indication of where else Greens might go to now:

    Ashcroft Con-Lab marginals polling July 2014
    ” Are there any of the following political parties that you would definitely not vote for at the next General Election?”
    Responses of Green Party voters:
    Not UKIP 82%
    Not Con 76%
    Not LD 64%
    Not Lab 49%

  32. And also
    Ashcroft Con-Lab marginals polling July 2014
    ”Which of the following would you most like to see as the outcome of the next general election?
    Responses of Green Party voters:
    Labour govt 35%
    Lab-LD coalition 27%
    Con-LD coalition 12%
    Con govt 13%
    DK 12%

  33. @ Carfew

    “it may be that Labour are spinning a line about being very parsimonious and stuff, because the enough of the electorate may have been convinced there is a need”

    Totally agree (apart from the grammar!). In fact a large proportion of the population don’t seem very happy with “Green taxes” and the press are very much encouraging that viewpoint so they may even be in danger of losing votes if they try and attract that hard to budge Green voter.

    However in a tight election you’d expect them to try and come up with something. I think Labour in 1997 were very good at targeting virtually every sub section of society- they probably had a “New deal” leaflet for every minority interest voter.

  34. Bantams
    “@ Bramley
    You grasser!!”

    Pardon ?

    If you wish to make a specific allegation against me, please do so or else explain what exactly you meant by your post !

  35. “As teachers say to six year olds, “If Nigel jumped in front of a bus would you do that to?””

    Well if they did, I would expect immediate arrest and detention from the Grammar Police.

  36. @Phil H

    Interesting figures from [Lord Ashcroft]. I found it puzzling that 18% of Greens would consider voting UKIP (the least green of parties). Then I saw this piece in the Grauniad

    and it all started to make sense.

  37. @Mike N – “Reiterating my comments from yesterday: the polls are all over the place at the mo, giving hope to both Cons and Lab.”

    Not really very sure that is an accurate reflection of the reality. Polls all seem to be consistent with a small Labour lead, with variations nearly always within statistical moe.

    Polls ‘all over the place’ would surely mean considerable doubt about who is leading – which we simply don’t have at present.

    No – I wuld say that current polling is actually very clear, and has been for a considerable period of time. If there were an election tomorrow, according to all the polls, Labour would be the biggest party and they are likely to have a majority, possibly quite a big one – although a hung parliament remains perfectly possible.

    What happens next year could well be very different, but lets not deny what current polls are actually saying.

  38. Today’s YouGov looks to be random variation around the 3-4 point lead that seems to be standard recently and the same is true of the 6 point Green VI after a fairly long run of 4s. There are the usual indicators of a fairly odd sample, including a Conservative lead in the under-25s.

    But equally that Green vote doesn’t seem to be going away, though it may be down from its high of 5, it’s certainly more than the 2-3 that they got in YouGov before the Euros. And there is also the matter of the over 20% of 2010 Lib Dems who have not decided where to put their vote and who may find the Greens attractive. For Labour this is all a worry, especially if there is a movement from UKIP to Tory at the same time.

    What will not work is the sort of Rally Round the Red Flag rhetoric as suggested by some normally sensible Labour supporters on here. Especially if the flag turns out to be a particularly washed-out shade of pink. Voters don’t take kindly to being ordered about and while some UKIP supporters might be convinced by the “I’ve you vote UKIP Evil Ed will get in” line (though it doesn’t seem to be working yet) Greens and ex-Lib Dems are by their very nature rather more anti-authoritarian. So being nagged that they’re lefties and therefore obliged to vote Labour won’t go down well.

    As others have pointed out the only way to convince these people is to offer them policies that they want. This applies not just to opposing the austerity agenda (or rather replacing with more subtle policies and language) but also with regard to explicitly Green issues, some of which may also gain votes elsewhere such as on fracking and HS2. Again the language used will be important with an emphasis on the long-term and sustainability.

    None of this should be too difficult to do or indeed too far from current policy. Unfortunately most of Labour’s current effort seems to directed towards impressing a dozen political journalists who will slag them off anyway.

  39. @ Bramley

    Should have put LOL on the end so it was absolutely clear it was a comment in jest. I was one of the group you “grassed up” because AW performed the snip on you earlier, resuIting in my receiving the snip as well even though I’d already had it years ago! Painful memories!

  40. I’m always skeptical about questions such as the ones asked about Boris – answers to both questions correlate strongly to the Con and Lab VI.

    As for the discussion above about what the polls show, they show that Labour are slightly ahead before any campaigning has been done.

    That said, in my opinion we are in for one of the most negative campaigns for a generation from both of the bigger parties. Given the high VI for Con/Lab vs the recent trend, I think both parties will come to the view that the potential for people with Lab/Con VI to NOT vote for them in the end due to fear of what they might get wrong probably outweighs the potential for people with Other VI to switch to the big two because of what they hope they will get right.

  41. Alec, yes Lab are (consistently) ahead in the polls, but both Con and Lab will find comfort and hope in the VI figures.

    VI for the two parties does look to me as volatile at the mo.

    I was also taking into account other pollsters’ recent polls, too.

  42. @Roger M

    You’re surely right to say that

  43. The polls are indeed all over the shop at the moment, but only to be expected in August, I think. Whatever else, the majority of the Great British public have other things on their mind, I believe.

  44. @Roger M (continued after clumsy finger incident)

    ….. to say that crude electioneering isn’t going to win over many Green votes – “Winning Here!” and “Vote Green get Blue” aren’t the thing and current Labour policy might already be squeeze enough nationally. Locally there might be a case for going crude though.

    And I don’t understand Labour’s election strategy either. I can only assume they’ve decided to play it quietly until the last minute, then choose their ground – a strategy I understand and approved of earlier. I never expected the big reveal would be delayed this long. If it works it’ll be a story for Tories to frighten their grandchildren with for decades to come!

  45. @Chris Hornet

    “in my opinion we are in for one of the most negative campaigns for a generation from both of the bigger parties”

    You may be right but I’m not convinced. Whilst Lab have some negative stuff going – privatising the NHS (allegedly), (alleged) wickedness of bedroom tax and welfare cuts their economic stuff seems to me to be mainly positive – living wage, constructive capitalism, larger public sector role in trains, spending plans to be accepted (ish) – and they have been rather light on concerted attacks on the govt’s record (eg deficit reduction targets spectacularly missed.
    I certainly believe Lab will do better by emphasising change/ a new approach even thought they will have to work hard to get anyone to believe in the change. After all, the voting public is not exactly blown off its feet about the current settlement or the New Lab one which went before.
    My comments on Boris are in moderation – I hope this isn’t a trend!

  46. @ Guymonde

    Hope you didn’t call him a blonde *[email protected]$$!! #~#~|*$ again!

  47. Carfrew,

    “As teachers say to six year olds, “If Nigel jumped in front of a bus would you do that to?”
    Well, they might if, unaccountably, Nige kept getting away with it.”
    Whatever could you be hinting at, Carfrew?

  48. @Newtown

    We’ll given it was about teaching….It’s just standard education stuff. Preferring rewards to sanctions etc. My partner has a good behaviour policy for her school, but I thought that might be overkill…

  49. sorry, Newhouse, not Newtown. Before anyone brings up phonics screening…

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