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. Course, since Thatch tamed the unions, that vector isn’t what it was. These days we’re more likely to have a no confidence motion over MPs pay…

  2. “Each month that passes you begin to think there is not going to be a recovery for the LD’s.”


    It’s amazing they get as much as they do. Must be Clegg’s radio show…

  3. “The Guardian has done a write up on this one and the interesting bits are that of the remaining LD voters they narrowly prefer a coalition with the Tories than with Labour.”


    One might surmise that roughly half the remaining LDs are Orange bookers, and much of the other half are peeps voting tactically in LD-Con seats.

    (Plus a few who’ve invested to much to let go…)

  4. too

  5. I am only half jesting as the ‘keep the union to be ruled by English Conservatives’ (or a Labour Party pushed rightwards by the need for swing English votes) is strong Yes argument.
    A narrow no victory followed by more Austerity that the SNP can blame on ‘English’ dominated parties may well enhance the support for full independence; and a vote in 10 years, justifiable if a close vote, may produce a different result.

    Having a more right wing Government in Westminster may suit some SNP strategists but I guess there will be different views within the party.

  6. I think the thing with the Lib Dems is that they’ve not managed to answer the question of “What is this party for?”.

    None of the parties answer this particularly well, but with each of the Tories, Labour, UKIP and the Greens you can at least form an image in your mind of what kind of person votes for them and why. I can no longer imagine a “typical Lib Dem” nor explain what a Lib Dem holds as general beliefs.

    It’s a product of the “all things to all men” campaign style of their wilderness years, but it’s going to cause them major problems when voters ask them why they should vote Lib Dem and they can’t articulate an answer.

  7. MrN
    I think that in LD held seats with the Tories second the line “Labour voters lend us your votes to keep the Tories out”will probably work. In other situations I cannot see a plausible reason to vote LD in other circs.

  8. Further to recent posts about party membership…

    “Exclusive: Tories to announce “tens of thousands” increase in membership at party conference

    Party claims that total membership is nearing 200,000.”

  9. Hello everyone – newbie here. Lurked for a while but no ready to brave the forum

    Background so you can take this into account, scientist with no firm political affiliation but clearly have preferences. From West Midlands but have lived abroad

    I would like to make my first comment on Mr Nameless’s last question on the LIb Dems.

    I think he makes a good point that their perceived ‘anything to anyone’ is a problem but there I think there is definitely a need for their two political stances – but probably not in the same party

    I try to maintain a constant belief on most subjects but this is, of course, liable to change based on evidence. At election time I then try to find the best fit to my beliefs

    Pro-EU (but needs a lot of reform)
    Pro-scientific method – use head not gut!
    Taxation moved away from productive labour to non-productive wealth accumulation
    socially liberal
    etc, etc

    Sometimes the party that best fits this changes

  10. Carfrew
    They haven’t been grave robbing again ?


  11. I’m wondering if their poor European election results have done the LD’s in a bit. The ABT and ABL groupings have found other places to go- especially Greens. The poor showing of the LD’s and the positive Green result may have convinced a lot of LD waverers that the future lies with the Greens.

    Some of the “ignorant” LD 2010 vote have gone to UKIP (I’m not calling them ignorant for either being LD or UKIP just that it’s a bit ignorant to go from a pro EU/Immigration friendly party to an anti EU/immigration party) just because you are anti politics.

    As we’ve said before this may not affect the seat count if their fortress strategy pays off.

  12. @Shevii

    I’ve wondered too about that. Could it be that the problem that afflicts minor parties (ie, if you’re getting few/no seats, why bother voting for them) is started to afflict the LD’s. That’s not to say they are now classed as a minor party.

  13. I think that news reporting about which voters prefer what coalition has missed a key finding. 39% of UKIP voters don’t want a coalition with Cons, against 24% that do.

    In many ways, this is a remarkable finding, and rather undermines assertions oft heard a while ago (but less so now) that some form of UKIP/Con deal was certain before the election.

    It’s also quite interesting that Lab voters appear more solid than anyone else.


    ‘you’re right about the UKIP voters…some of them voted for the tories for 50 years and more and are just fed up with what they regard as metropolitan elite agenda of cameron…
    we can think they are barbarians but that’s just how they feel.’

    There is no ‘we’ here Peter, people disagree with you. I’m getting heartily fed up of the lack of courtesy show towards Ukip supporters. Phrases like ‘racist dog whistle’ are highly offensive.

    This is a public forum, not an Islington dinner party for a group of like-minded people to parade their PC credentials.

    I really wish we could just accept that we may support different parties and discuss the polling.

  15. Spearmint
    I just wondered. As you reallocated many LD DKs to LD in your forecast submission to MOG, did you do the ICM thing for the rest too?

    This query, of course, has nothing to do with the musings from Bournemouth beach. The reasons I thought your 11% was high is that I only go by present polling (in the 8s for LD at present).

    I have wondered whether this reallocation thing has value any more. If the number of DKs and WVs in a poll add up to 30% – 35%, (2010 GE turnout 65%) then I would plead that they are left alone in forecasting.

  16. Mr B,
    I agree with you and pressed report comment for the first time ever the other day someone said racist UKIP or some such.

  17. Mr Beeswax,

    I agree with you…i was just pandering to the predominantly leftish tone of the posters on this website…it wasn’t like this two years ago.

    anyway, the lib dem figures are truly dire; they’ll be lucky to get much above 10% at this rate, though I expect them to recover a little. The tories are flatlining. I think a large part of the electorate is just waiting to boot them out…nothing that is happening seems to boost their rating.

  18. As regards the LD low polling I believe there is only one thing form them to do. Sack NC before the party conference, brake away from the coalition by the end of the year and face the country with a new Leader and new, even Liberal policies. They will not do it of course because all the perspective candidates for the Leadership love the Government cars and the little red boxes too much. So they will diminish and retreat the north and west fringes once more.

  19. Howard – you raise an important question I think re methodology.
    First of all a reminder (sorry) that in re-allocating DK/WV ICM are in fact offering not a shap-shot but an estimate of what the result would be based on part current VI and part past actual voting (as recalled at least).
    If a voter has left the Cons and LDs and not yet found a home then that could mean that are undecided between say Green and Lab (if ex LD) or it could mean that they like none of the other parties.

    Chances are the second group will end up back with their 2010 choice or WV.

    FWIW, I think there is merit in the re-allocation but get frustrated with people quoting ICM as an opinion poll when it is imo a forecast based on an opinion poll.

  20. @Mr Beeswax – “Phrases like ‘racist dog whistle’ are highly offensive.”

    As an erstwhile Green I must agree with you, and I have said similar on here for quite a while now. While I’m certain that there will be a number (possibly quite a number) of UKIP members/supporters who might objectively be termed ‘racist’, I’m equally comfortable that there will be many Tories, Labour and SNP member/supporters falling equally into that category. We could argue about proportions, but what’s the point?

    Indeed, as UKIP often point out, many of the incidents highlighted during the Euro campaign were actually ex Cons who said very similar things before they joined UKIP, but were ignored totally by the media.

    I remain moderately impressed by Farage’s personal attempts to ensure an honest and non racist approach to his politics, and I credit him with helping to destroy the BNP as a viable electoral force – a grouping which I think could genuinely be described in that way.

    People who despise UKIP really need to get their heads round the fact that it is perfectly possible to be aggressively anti EU and anti immigration, while not being racist.

    Indeed, Farage’s recent comments on immigration highlight the absurdity of politics. He is openly campaigning for a global immigration control policy, that treats all nations equally. He makes the case, agree or not, that our current immigration policy is fundamentally racist, as it prioritizes Europeans over Africans and Indians.

  21. Thanks Peter and JimJam.

    What IS surprisingly resilient about the LibDems is that they can still pick up council seats even with that national flatline. In some areas they are wiped out, in others they grow completely against the trend of the seat next door. I guess there are still quite a number of dedicated and rather nice people quietly knocking on doors for them.

  22. Welcome Stuart Moran.

  23. Thankyou Catmanjeff

  24. @StuartMoran
    Welcome. A list very similar to mine, though I’d have something about standard of living/equality in it.

    It distresses me a little that people talk about Government cars as a motivation: I think this rather infantilises politicians who have very often given up or interrupted good and remunerative careers to try and make the world a better place, whatever you think of their policies.
    I do think the red boxes confer a sense of power which may be both a touch misplaced and a touch narcissistic but it doesn’t seem to me very different from the power complex in any top job. And politicians are far more insecure and accountable than the vast majority of the elite, and earning a fraction of what top bankers/lawyers/accountants/executives etc. enjoy.

  25. Mr Beeswax
    Where the LDs are long established, they are canny and ruthless fighters. Two examples from fairly recent LG by-elections spring to mind, there was one in Ludlow where they picked up a seat cos the Tory vote was split between two former Tory councillors, a case of too many Tories due to the disappearance of the District council.
    And a week or so ago the LDs missed out on picking up a seat in Cornwall by one vote.
    My point is that they can still win if they can pick their mark.
    I doubt they can do this next May, and also up and down the country activists from the two (three in Scotland and Wales) big old nasty parties, are looking forward to squishing the LDs.

  26. @ Alec

    It might not necessarily mean UKIP supporters are not amenable to the Tories. Some of it may be strategical from the hardcore of UKIP support.

    If I was a UKIP activist I’d look at what coalition has done to the LD’s and also the anti politics UKIP identity and steer well away from coalition just for the good of the party.

  27. Populus @PopulusPolls · 39m

    Today’s Populus Voting Intention: Lab 36 (-1), Con 35 (+2), LD 8 (-1), UKIP 13 (+1) Oth 8 (-1). Tables to follow

  28. On the lib dems: I think they do have pockets of activists who are very energetic. Generally speaking, however, this parliament has been a disaster for them.

    They got 46 MPs in 1997, which was a real breakthrough…they achieved 55 in 2001, then 62 in 2005 and 57 in 2010…they’ll be lucky to get 40 next year, though unlike many I don’t think this is impossible.

    In terms of council seats, they have done even worse. If they do get 35+ seats, this will be because their vote has held up well in constituencies they hold. It would almost certainly be accompanied by many many lost deposits. Their council base has been devastated in the north, in the midlands, and most spectacularly in cities like Liverpool and Manchester….it will take them a very long time to recover from this.

    People seem to forget that they got 23.5% of the vote in 2010; a very high figure…we’re talking about them doing quite well if they get 12% next year.

  29. @ Alex
    “Indeed, Farage’s recent comments on immigration highlight the absurdity of politics. He is openly campaigning for a global immigration control policy, that treats all nations equally.”

    Re UKIP policy, rather than its rhetoric or the views of its supporters, the following is UKIP’s principal current statement on immigration.

    “Immigrants must financially support themselves and their dependents for 5 years. This means private health insurance (except emergency medical care), private education and private housing.” etc. I.e., immigration would be restricted to the rich.

    How could, say, a foreign-born nurse, lab technician, teacher, etc meet all those criteria? they can’t. The statement is the translation a core belief about immigrants into an unworkable policy & cannot be taken at face value.
    But then neither can Farage’s — or any other politicians’ statements — about immigration. Marx was amused by the fact that the utterances of public figures were taken literally: as he said “we do not judge other people by what they tell us about themselves.”


    Good Afternoon to you.

    I think 12% seems high, IMO, as they say in these parts.

  31. An excerpt from Comres’ Andrew Hawkins:

    But the real reason why the recovery is not yet being celebrated is because so few people actually feel it in their pockets, meaning that Labour’s adoption of the “cost of living crisis” could yet prove an electoral masterstroke in the end. Seven in ten British adults say that despite the economy growing, they don’t feel any better off. The need for economic credibility – something Eds Miliband and Balls are lacking – is becoming less of an issue. Labour’s landslide in 1997 came despite the fact they lagged behind John Major’s Conservatives as the Party most trusted on the economy because the economy was not the most important issue. 2015 could be a similar case, with David Cameron’s Conservatives succumbing to defeat despite being seen as more competent drivers of the economic ship than their opponents. How people feel about their own situation will be a bigger factor in where people are putting their crosses on the ballot paper.

  32. Bramley… actually that’s Tom Mludzinski writing

  33. @Billy Bob Yes, your comments about Ed Miliband’s position regarding invading foreign countries such as Iraq, are very interesting.

    It is possible to take this further. Sometimes you see on this site and elsewhere, people who divide voters into left and right categories. You have Conservatives and UKIP with x % percent of the vote and Labour, Lib Dems and Green with y% per cent of the vote. However, on this issue, the invasion of countries such as Iraq, there is no left/right split.

    UKIP do not support military interference in countries which are nothing to do with Britain. The question is who does support it? The newspapers do, or did, and so do some parts of the Conservative Party.

    To take an example, Polly Toynbee, who is thought of as a left wing commentator, was at the time of the Iraq invasion, a columnist with the Independent. When the Independent decided to oppose the Iraq invasion, Polly Toynbee announced that she could not agree with the Independent. She then moved to the Guardian which supported the Iraq invasion.

    I don’t know if Polly Toynbee has changed her mind about the Iraq invasion. She still writes for the Guardian. What is certain is that some of the newspapers that supported the Iraq invasion are quite unrepentant. They would support more of the same. The public in my opinion do not agree with these newspapers, on this subject.

    For the First World War, Britain had a treaty obligation to protect Belgium which had been invaded. In the Second World War Britain had a treaty with Poland which had been invaded. The conflicts in Northern Ireland and the Falklands were concerned with British territory.

    The thing to remember is that it is taxpayers money that is used in financing wars in countries such as Iraq. Taxpayers are entitled to say what value if any is there in this for Britain? This is apart from the legality of the invasion under the United Nations charter.

    Therefore, I think that Ed Miliband should point a finger at the newspapers who mock him sometimes, and ask them – do they, or do they not, still support the invasion of Iraq? I’d like to know.

    Collin Powell the USA Secretary of State at the time of the Iraq invasion later apologised to the United Nations for having misled them about Iraq. Maybe the British newspapers could apologise for having misled people about Iraq?

  34. @Bramley

    Not only that, but if people accept the Conservatives’ claims that the economy is growing (which it is) and also Labour’s claims that the vast majority are still facing a cost of living crisis (which they are as real incomes continue to fall) then it feeds very nicely into a secondary Labour narrative about inequality i.e. that the Government is governing in the interests only of those at the top rather than everyone else.

  35. Ooh, my bad.

    Ever get the feeling that no matter what you do, it’s always wrong…..

  36. Actually, the Guardian opposed Iraq. It was the Observer that was in favour.

  37. @Phil Haines

    Yes I agree & polling has shown consistently that the majority aren’t feeling the effects of any recovery – those polled can’t all be wrong.

  38. @Alec

    Re UKIP. I agree, and your point is also consistent with this thread of Mike Smithson based on the Ashcroft marginal polling, namely that UKIP voters were as likely to favour a Lab govt (maj or coalition) as a Con govt (majority or coalition).

    In terms of where UKIP supporters might be inclined to switch to should their support dwindle (which it may not) I think that is a far more meaningful set of stats than simply looking at their 2010 allegiances.

  39. And of course “feeling” better off is a different thing to actually “being” better off. I bet a lot of the people who are not “feeling” better off (and quite a few of those who are saying the “feel” worse off) actually are better off. The difference is based on expectations, and on relative judgements.. Viz:

    If someone expected to be able to afford X by July 2014 and find they can’t, then they feel worse off, despite a real terms increase in living standards. Their expectations make them feel poorer

    If someone sees that next-door have bought a new Y but they can’t afford a Y themselves, they may feel poorer relatively, no matter that they are actually richer.

    This is why discussions here about GDP and what it means are so frustrating to me. How people feel about their situation is what influences VI, and we can’t know what they feel from looking at economic data.

  40. This TNS poll in the Grauniad (fieldwork 15-17 July). Is the paper changing its pollster?

  41. Stuart Moran,
    Hello.Yes it does take courage to make that first post.

  42. Welcome Stuart.

    Those Populus 2010 weightings look ‘interesting’ again?

    Need an expert to interpret he says politely?

  43. Hi Ann

    Yes but you seem a relatively friendly bunch – CiF is another matter though!!!!!

    My own view on the polls is that, like many others, it is too close to call and that reading the entrails based on the past is difficult due to the fact we have a Coalition and the shadow of UKIP.

    I imagine that after 2010 I would be a happier Ed Miliband than a David Cameron but we will see.

    I see the point of ‘shy Tories’ keeps coming back, something I though that after 97 we would not see anymore. I don’t know why, after the years of New Labour, we would expect people to be still embarrassed to call themselves Tories.

    [Snip – probably best not to accuse other people of being dishonest in their political beliefs – AW]

    [And indeed, probably best not to change your username to try and avoid pre-moderation for doing the same sort of thing in the past. No sockpuppetting – AW]

  44. Thanks Mr Jam

  45. Talking of “shy Tories”, I wonder if there are now “shy UKIPers”? If one type exists, then there’s no good reason not to suspect its occurance elsewhere in the political spectrum. If so, those 17/18% poll ratings for UKIP which I had previously largely dismissed as fanciful suddenly seem more plausible.

    Is any pollster taking account of this?

  46. KeithP – if there were “shy” supporters of every party then it would make no difference to the overall results and could be ignored.

    The whole “shy Tories” and “bashful Blairites” thing was about if one party’s supporters were **disproportionately** likely to say “don’t know” compared to supporters of other parties.

    At the moment there aren’t really shy Tory or shy Labour supporters, the party that the ICM re-allocation helps is Lib Dems. No one has come up with a silly name for them yet. Coy Cleggites?

  47. Oh, a challenge. “Secret softies”?

  48. “Bashful beardies”?

  49. “Sneaky sandal wearers”

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