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”

1 2 3 4 5 10
  1. @ Bill,

    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.


    @ Paul and Dogs,

    Remember when you wanted monthly averages for YouGov? Well, I couldn’t be arsed but Mike Smithson has done it for you:

  2. @Roger Mexico
    “What will not work is the sort of Rally Round the Red Flag rhetoric as suggested by some normally sensible Labour supporters on here.”

    That’s not very becoming of you Roger i.e. reducing a reasonable argument to an unflattering caricature when then helps justify those making it as being anything but sensible. Actually I think that up to now we’ve had a pretty sensible discussion from different standpoints on what it not a black and white topic.

  3. should be:

    helps justify the portrayal of those making it

  4. Thanks Missis Minty.

    Shows what I expected: Labour on very gradual decline the days of two figure leads but Tories very close to stagnation – just a very, very slight upward movement over 18/19 months.

    Tata for now.

  5. Spearmint
    What hit me about the chart was that Conservative support hardly varies and that if the UKIP vote reduces, as widely opined here, it will go to Labour and LD rather than Con, again as widely opined here.

    I appreciate this is a *net* result that takes no account of your favoured churn analysis but it is nevertheless odd to contemplate such.

  6. @Jamesbarn & Spearmint
    Interesting comment on the site to the table you linked:

    “We see the rise of UKIP now fading a touch and due to drop further in July.”

    UKIP 12 12 12 13 14 14 this year.
    Even with a 15 last May, (EU election win, remember?) followed by 13, 13 in June and July, UKIP averaged under just 12 last year.

    Fading? How? What am I missing?

  7. Phil Haines

    Well it may be “an unflattering caricature”, but the point is it’s how those sort of arguments will be perceived by those who they are aimed at, unless they are made very carefully. I’m sure they aren’t meant that way, but that’s not really relevant. If you want to get people to vote for you you have to see things from their viewpoint, not your own.

    After all these are people who have decided not to make the ‘obvious’ political choice of Labour and will have reasons for it. Often that will be because of issues such as civil liberties where Labour’s record has been, at best, mixed recently. So any hint of diktat or disdain is going to make such people very wary of giving support and reinforce them in their belief that there is no real difference between Labour and Conservative.

    And it’s not just about Greens and ex-Lib Dems as you suggested yourself when you said:

    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

    there are potential voters who may not even be particularly tempted by the Greens but will probably not vote because they feel that none of the Parties care about ‘people like them’.

  8. Should be “local election wins” in May 2013

  9. Spearmint

    Very useful those tables are indeed, but it’s not Mike Smithson who produced them but YouGov itself:

    They’re usually on pages 2 and 3 (the numbers go back to May 2010) of the current Voting Intention tracker.

  10. Dave

    Fading? How? What am I missing?

    Well it says “fading a touch and due to drop further in July” and if you look at the daily figures from YouGov in July (page 1 of the dataset I linked to above), they only scored 14 once all month so their July average will be below that, probably 12. This is what you would expect from the pattern in previous years when UKIP’s poll rating tend to drop a bit over the Summer from their high in May.

    But you’d be right to point out there is no indication in the figures of any particular long-term decline rather than predictable seasonal variation – at least so far. While every previous UKIP peak has been followed by a drop, the level to which their ratings have settled has tended to be a little higher than their previous norm.

    If those VI figures drop below 12 for long and fail to pick up in the Autumn, then it will be possible to talk of decline, but not before. Though it is worth pointing out that May and July will be the first two months when UKIP ratings are (just) lower than they were a year previously and it’s possible to say that their rise has stalled, at least for the moment.

  11. @ Roger Mexico,

    Ah, I stand corrected. It’s our host you should be thanking then, R&D!

    @ Howard and Dave,

    For our purposes, Ukip has two input sources, Tories and LD/Labour.

    The big Tory movement happened after the Omnishambles Budget- you can see it in the more complete YouGov monthly averages table Roger linked, where the Tory VI falls from 36% to 33% from March to April and Ukip jumps from 5% to 8%.

    There is then a second jump from 9% to 12% after the Eastleigh by-election, marked by another fall in the Tory VI and 4% dropping off Labour’s VI as well. The Tories clawed their second wave of Ukip defectors back last summer. Meanwhile Labour have suffered a second wave of Ukip defectors themselves this spring, taking another 2% off their VI, and they haven’t really got them back yet. As Dave says, this is keeping Ukip at their highest ever plateau.

    So the question is, which of these waves of defectors will return home at the general election? I don’t know, and I don’t think anyone knows. The Tories have failed to get their Omnishambles defectors back for more than two years now, and on a first in-last out basis we’d expect them to be the hardest to get back, while Labour Wave II would seem the most retrievable. And Tory Wave II did come home- although perhaps it was lured back by tough talk on immigration that Labour can’t possibly match.

    But honestly I doubt voters shift so neatly or predictably. If I had to bet (and I do, for MOG’s prediction competition), I’d bet the numbers that come back from Ukip to the two main parties will be roughly equal because the Tories have plucked the low-hanging fruit already. But only time will tell.

  12. I’m fine with all that (i.e. arguments to be made carefully, see things from others’ viewpoint, avoiding diktat or disdain, it’s not just about Greens and ex-Lib Dems.) If you were assuming that I disagreed with any of that, I didn’t. I focused only on the Greens because that was the focus of the discussion on this thread.

    Labour will need to play the FPTP tactical card in due course but of course it can do so with subtlety. There are plenty of ways of targeting potential Greens without giving the Green Party the oxygen of publicity, particularly if campaigning is positive.

  13. I have read this thread with great interest.

    The one thing that would attract votes to a main party from the Greens, PC and UKIP would be a commitment to PR.

    As a small party member myself, I would lend my vote for one election to the main party that would introduce a fairer system for minor parties.

    Being told ‘vote Green, get Cameron’ would encourage me to tell that person/party what sunless place they could take their ideas to.

  14. The Greens may do fairly well overall and Caroline Lucas may hold in Brighton ( I would not be sorry to see that happen ) but in the crucial Con/Lab marginals they will do the decent/sensible thing without too much prompting.
    Also, the Greens may help Labour indirectly by making the arguments for more environmentally friendly and “leftist” economic policies, dragging the political debate to the left and enabling Labour to pose as the more moderate left party, in between the despised Tories, loony UKIP, discredited Lib Dems and “extreme” Greens.

  15. Spearmint
    That all sounds very plausible, thanks. Are we agreed that Con is unlikely ever to surmount 37%, and if they did even reach 37, Lab would already be higher still, due to the returning votes from the minor parties being at least shared?

    In my electoral mind’s eye, I regard the UKIP vote as one would independents in local elections.

    In other words ‘could go anywhere’ but probably equally distributed.

  16. @phil Haines

    “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.”

    I was interested in your link, To me the most depressing things about these MORI tables is that way out single issue winner turns out to be race relations/immigrants etc. Twenty three per cent named this, as against 1 per cent or so the ageing population, and 6 percent NHS. Not even poverty, unemployment, inequality housing and so on could come anyway near this level of mention. Only the admirable Scots seem relatively phlegmatic about the issue. Even in Scotland 12 per cent named it but this was at least way off the 62 percent of UKIP voters..

    Personally I can see that immigration can create problems for certain areas through pressure on housing, schools etc and for certain kinds of worker because of their effect on wages, But I don’t see how, particularly given our ageing population, we could do without immigrants, and my guess is that they contribute a lot more than they take out, From a selfish point of view the problem is not so much the import of workers to take British jobs as the export of British jobs to other parts of the world.

    So faced with this I would like others on this site like Labour to give out a more positive message, acknowledging that there are problems which need to be tackled but also stressing that on balance foreign students and workers are a resource which we are lucky to have,

  17. @Paula A

    The Greens may do fairly well overall and Caroline Lucas may hold in Brighton ( I would not be sorry to see that happen ) but in the crucial Con/Lab marginals they will do the decent/sensible thing without too much prompting.

    So what is the decent and sensible thing?

    The answer to that is very subjective.


    @” I’d bet the numbers that come back from Ukip to the two main parties will be roughly equal because the Tories have plucked the low-hanging fruit already. But only time will tell.”

    As you say , only time will tell.

    But Cons have greater potential in the current UKIP VI.

    This morning’s UKIP 12 % pts is made up as follows :-

    2010 defectors
    Con 4.7%
    Lab 1.6%
    LD 1.7%
    New voters/UKIP 2010 4%


    ……… Cons have three times the potential that Labour have for UKIP returnees -obviously tempered by the comparative inclination of each group to do so.

    So the important question is-which group will have more reason to return in 2015 ?


    ‘Interesting figures from [Lord Ashcroft]. I found it puzzling that 18% of Greens would consider voting UKIP (the least green of parties).’

    It could be argued that not wanting to concrete over the countryside to make way for the new towns we need due to mass immigration is very green indeed. And the case for windmills as green is subjective – to many they ruin a treasured countryside. Locally you will find Ukip opposing incinerators and supporting other issues generally taken to be the preserve of greens.

    It would be good to see what appears to be a resurgence of The Greens on the charts. Like other posters I feel that they will be picking up the sandal-wearing tendency from the Lib-Dems.

  21. @Roger Mexico & Spearmint

    “there is no indication in the figures ” That’s really my point. People interpret the figures with preconceived ideas of what has happened and why.
    “May and July will be the first two months when UKIP ratings are (just) lower than they were a year previously and it’s possible to say that their rise has stalled, at least for the moment.”
    I agree it’s possible to say that, but
    2014 12 12 12 13 14 14 is a stalled rise? over last year’s average of 11.75 buoyed up by 15 13 13 after UKIPs very unexpected 2013 Council election victories, and consequent good publicity. That UKIP’s figures after the EU elections were somewhat lower is less surprising as their wins were not unexpected even after sustained bad publicity beforehand. (While these interpretations are personal, my comments are based on hindsight of real events.)

    “which of these waves of defectors will return home” I think that you fall into the trap of believing that +x for one party and -x for another means that x have necessarily shifted directly from one to another. In this instance, you need to consider the changed LibDem (and Green) fortunes; the possibility of others deciding to vote or not vote (YouGov’s %s are of declared voters, are they not? and last but not least, that while monthly averages absorb random variations, ascribing individual shifts to particular events such as Eastleigh, do not, for you must rely on contemporaneous results.
    ” I doubt voters shift so neatly or predictably” and so do I. I also know a few UKIP voters, and they don’t seem inclined to go back to where they came from, though that is a very small sample.

    I repeat, my point is that in many if not most of the comments on this site, “there is no [such] indication in the figures”. The comments may be true, and the predictions correct (some of them – they can’t all be!) but hardly ever do the figures quoted actually support them. I sometimes think I could have more fun if my training didn’t constrain me to be skeptical of statistics and prone to look for sources of error.

  22. I think the disconnect between Labour and Conservative voters who have left the fold might mean that very few come back at all.

    I can still see a decent chance that neither will poll above 35-36%.

  23. It would be good to see what appears to be a resurgence of The Greens on the charts. Like other posters I feel that they will be picking up the sandal-wearing tendency from the Lib-Dems.

    This is a misconception of many of the new Green intake. In my area the recent new members don’t fit that stereo-type, but are more urban and driven by a massive social justice interest. We don’t talk much about wind-power or nuclear energy – we talk about jobs, housing, income inequality.

  24. I agree with CMJ. Most of the Greens I’ve met are left wing and think Labour members are secretly Tories.

  25. Hmmm,
    Rural Greens of my acquaintance are quite right wing…. But then nearly everybody in the sticks is quite right wing !

  26. I should add almost all the Greens I know are also students which might affect their positions.

  27. 35/37/8/12

  28. YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Labour lead up one to two points: CON 35%, LAB 37%, LD 8%, UKIP 12%

  29. Some very good points raised tonight and I agree with most of what was revealed. I think the key, as Colin ponders, is whether the greater number of ex-Cons now UKIP, (something wrong about that expression ‘ex-Cons’!) are more likely to stick with UKIP than the other deserters.

    Regarding the LD sandal brigade, it’s more a platoon IMO (always was).

  30. @Howard

    I know little of military matters.

    How big is a platoon vs a brigade?

  31. The income for political parties in 2013:

    Labour Party – £33,336,000
    Conservative Party – £25,352,000
    Liberal Democrats – £7,303,514
    UK Independence Party – £2,479,314
    Scottish National Party – £2,038,245
    Co-operative Party – £1,187,120
    Sinn Fein – £1,161,163
    Green Party – £881,819
    Plaid Cymru – £667,718
    British National Party – £605,208
    Democratic Unionist Party – £474,147
    SDLP – £360,483
    The Socialist Party of Great Britain – £340,863

  32. Fear not, loyal readers, I haven’t disappeared for good; just lurking from an overseas fleshpot for a while.

    Taking a short break from my bachanalian revelling to see the latest polls. Interesting stuff indeed and it would appear the Peter Kellner’s “fundamentals” are firmly in place. In other words, people are remaining consistent with their voting intentions. More or less saying what they’ve been saying for 12 months, MOE allowing.

    The rest is complete guff really.


  33. @ CatmanJeff

    “We don’t talk much about wind-power or nuclear energy – we talk about jobs, housing, income inequality.”

    I find that a little bit sad really. Not so much that you talk about a wide range of things but that as a Green party that doesn’t have Green issues at it’s core.

  34. @Shevii

    Sustainability is at the core, but it is so settled regarding energy and nuclear, there isn’t a huge amount fresh to discuss.

    Of course, as a party , we are often accused of just being interesting in wind farms and saving fields.

    In truth sustainability is about energy, environment, housing, jobs, education and more.

  35. Ewen Lightfoot

    Reminds me of the discussion about whether you could tell the VI by looking at the house/garden from the street. I remember canvassing for the Greens in a rural ward – successful campaign btw :-) – I remember some long driveways that I went up with dread (even more so when confronted with several large cars parked on it), only to discover Green voters in a house I would never previously expect to have found them in. I didn’t spend too long trying to convince them of the wisdom of some of the Green Party’s more radical policies, just recorded the VI and beat a hasty retreat.

    I have a feeling that rural Green supporters _are_ more turqouise than most urban Greens. But by the looks of it, not only is Brighton Pavilion urban, but many of the next wave of Green targets (in Sheffield, Oxford, Bristol, Norwich, etc) are too.

  36. @Shevii – “I find that a little bit sad really. Not so much that you talk about a wide range of things but that as a Green party that doesn’t have Green issues at it’s core.”

    If you don’t mind me saying, I think that’s a bit of a silly comment.

    We don’t ghettoise ‘green’ thinking to anything ecological or environmental. If that’s really what you think Greens are about, then you’re gravely mistaken, and we’ve got our messaging wrong.

    It’s about sustainability – in economic and social policy, as much as the environment. Everything is linked, we are all as one, beards and sandals, peace be with you etc etc.

  37. @Colin

    Your breakdow of today’s UKIP VI is accurate but you are wrong to label that final 4% “New Voters/UKIP 2010”. It should be just Other/None, Others include not just UKIP but BNP, Nats, Green, Uncle George Galloway and all.

    As a calculation from a single set of cross breaks it doesn’t tell us much, there’s a load of day by day variation. The Others/None figure looks low today – it was 5.8% yesterday.

  38. “More or less saying what they’ve been saying for 12 months, MOE allowing.”

    Fair comment I think. It would be interesting to have weekly polling averages – both before and after final weightings. The daily roller-coaster figures are a poor guide IMHO.

  39. Sheffield is after a century of predictability is showing the potential to throw up a few shocks.

    Historically there was one rich Tory seat, (now with Nick Clegg as incumbent), the other five staunch Labour.

    After the council results it looks possible for Labour to take that seat, with The Greens also having an outside chance – they also ran second in another seat.

    Ukip got the most votes in one seat and ran a fairly close second in three more.

    Fetch the popcorn.

  40. hate to say this, but the second spike spearmint identifies in the ukip vote was when the same sex marriage act was being debated…the 2nd reading was passed in february, just a couple of weeks before eastleigh…

    you’re spot on though…the ukip vote started rising just after omnishambles…a bunch of authoritarian sergeants’ mess types had enough of the “posh ruperts” who didn’t seem to be able to run a bath….that’s what happened.

  41. “Fetch the popcorn.”

    Will do.

    Although I’ll have to add an extra handful of salt on the basis of the Greens being tipped as possibly being able to unseat Nick Clegg.

  42. someone mentioned the tories’ flatlining basically for a year, only to be cattily poo pooed by other posters here saying something like “we’ve explained that already, thicko”….

    now forgive me for being very dense, but what is the reason for the tories essentially flatlining since last August….? you can see it on the smithson table and the wikipedia polls, heavily, as it is, influenced by Yougov…

    it’s very odd.

  43. I’ve been involved in environmental issues most of my life but would rather vote Ukip than Green now. Just a few years ago, the Greens were in favour of a far harsher immigration policy than Ukip and were considering a family size limit (the so-called policy that dare not speak its name, according to Lucas). Now, its an open door scenario, increasing population (ergo consumption) for the sake of economics. Not even sustainable economics. How can we ask Brazil, China, Nigeria etc. to reduce their population when we are increasing ours for financial gain?

  44. Net Approval -17 this morning.

  45. It’s not like that. If we don’t reduce the worlds population, nature will do it for us. Which would you prefer natures method or controlled reduction by ‘natural wastage’

  46. Beeswax, I fear you may be disappointed. It’s true there will be some interesting races to watch (Penistone, Central, Hallam) but Paul Blomfield and Clegg are strong enough on the ground that the probable it’ll still be 5 Labour, 1 LD by the end of the night. For the sake of my campaigning I remain hopeful though!

  47. @Ozwald

    Alex will be along soon to comment

    GfK NOP Social Research is one of the better ones as it follows pan-European guideliens

    Personal Financial Situation in the next 12 months is -2, which is 2 points higher than a year ago – there is not much change in the personal indexes compared to a year ago

    The big improvement is in the general economic situation in the last 12 months which in July 2014 ia 28 points higher than July 13 – situation in the next 12 months is also positive

    In fact all their indexes dropped last month, but all still higher than a year ago

    I make the assumption for all these economic figures that
    One months figures are a blip
    Two months noteworthy
    Three months a trend

    All the Gfk NOP Confidence figures have been trending up for 4 months after slipping back in the winter – still too early to say if things are changing

  48. @ Alec (and CatmanJeff)

    Thinking about what I posted you are probably right about it being a silly comment but it was more a knee jerk reaction to the idea starting to form in my mind that the Greens are positioning themselves as a left wing alternative to Labour rather than an alternative way of doing things.

    Taking Starry’s point above I remember seeing in the 2010 Green manifesto stuff about increasing child benefit and not a word about population control which must surely be the number one sustainability issue.

    I personally have no issue with the idea that following Green policies can produce all those other things you talked about- especially jobs in a sustainable environment. I just wouldn’t like to see the Greens moving away from their core ideals in order to attract disillusioned left wing voters who may not be on board with the Green agenda.

  49. @Colin – UKIP
    While the current yougov polls tell us what UKIP supporters remember voting in 2010, it does not ask how they voted prior to that. If they are partly traditional swing voters ( who have not swung to Labour this time, as we know), who knows where they might go back to? UKIP supporters poll similarly on concerns to Labour supporters: NHS, public services etc. – and they are less likely to feel economically more stable.
    It is just not clear cut that the swing back will only benefit Con. In fact, looking at the polls, both Labour and LibDem have dropped over the past year+. But the Tories have stayed relativly stable on 32/34. Have they both lost supporters to UKIP? (I know some have gone to Green, but that is more recent).

1 2 3 4 5 10