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. @MrN

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


    Didn’t Clegg say summat about a “New kind of politics?”…

  2. AW,

    “At the moment there aren’t really shy Tory or shy Labour supporters …”

    How do you know? I’m really interested to find out. Don’t we have to see what these people actually do in the polling booth before we can know whether they are being ‘shy’ at this moment?


    “Carfrew They haven’t been grave robbing again ?”



    Don’t be giving ’em ideas…. they’ll prolly change the law so one can vote from beyond the grave. Or at least leave a proxy vote to be used in one’s absence after shuffling off the mortal coil…

  4. @ Jim Jam,

    I wonder if post the 2015 GE after a few years a minority Lab Government will be brought down by the SNP voting against them in a no confidence motion.

    They tried that the last time a referendum didn’t go their way; it didn’t end well for them.


    “How do you know? I’m really interested to find out. Don’t we have to see what these people actually do in the polling booth before we can know whether they are being ‘shy’ at this moment?”


    Well apparently you can tell from the garden. So you could ask them some questions about their garden. Unless they are shy gardeners, in which case you use Google Street View.

    (Might need to check allotments too though…)

  6. “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?”


    Shy Tories?

  7. Newhouse – I meant, no pollster is working on the assumption that there are any, whereas reallocation of don’t knows does end up assuming that there are Coy Cleggites out there.

    I’ve never liked the “shy Tories” sort of names. The evidence for the reallocation is pretty good: people who say don’t know are empirically more likely to end up vote for a party they admit voting for at a previous election than for a different party.

    I’ve never bought the assumption that this is necessarily because of “shyness” – it may be that those people’s current indecision is completely genuine… but they there are none-the-less more likely to end up plumping for the devil they know.

  8. Speermint, depends if you take the long haul approach or not.
    An overtly ROC UK Government for 18 years followed by NU Labour which was to the right of the apparent Scottish political epicentre could be said on have enhanced the support for independence.

    Hence my tongue in cheek hypothesis

  9. @ Howard,

    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?

    Sort of. My forecast was based on this: I went back and looked at the polling for the most recent Parliaments, and noticed that for the ones that look like the current Parliament- ie. long periods of relatively stable polling- the modal polling averages for the Government and the main Opposition seemed fairly predictive of the general election result (especially if you assume the polls were consistently off throughout the Parliament by however much they were off on the day before the election, usually overpredicting Labour by a few percentage points).

    For most of this Parliament, the Lib Dems have been hovering at around 10%, so that became my baseline prediction. I threw them an extra 1% on the basis that even with their activist base so gutted, campaigning and incumbency effects will probably boost them a little at the election- someone here once calculated the impact Lib Dem seats have on their overall vote share, and it’s miniscule because there are so few, but it’s not zero. So the reallocation of DKs is really a post-hoc justification for something I had already done.

    If their post-May slump turns out to be permanent, I’ll be wrong.

    With the two big parties it really came down to whether or not I trusted the YouGov averages or everyone else’s, because YouGov comes up with much higher main party VIs than most of the other pollsters and that distorts the overall polling averages. I decided that on balance I probably did trust YouGov; it just doesn’t seem likely that with the Lib Dems collapsing from ~24% to 11%, the combined total of the big two parties is going to go down, even once you take Ukip into account. So that’s how I ended up with 36% and 38%. Again, you could make a post-hoc reallocation justification for that- based on the current polling averages both parties are going to need to grab a bunch of votes from somewhere to bear out my prediction- but it wasn’t actually a factor in my forecast.

  10. @ Carfrew,


  11. peter Crawfird says – ‘fed up with what they regard as metropolitan elite agenda of cameron… ”

    I grow a bit tired of this regular moan and conclude its just put up by people who cannot think for themselves.

  12. @lurker Thanks for your point about the Guardian and Observer’s stand on the Iraq War.

    I recall that the Independent was strongly opposed to the Iraq War. I do not recall that the Guardian had the same degree of opposition to the war. Perhaps they played it cooler and this suited Polly Toynbee. Of course the Observer had a bad experience with the Suez Crisis, when they were proved right, but lost readers, I believe.

    In any case the main point I make is that because Ed Miliband has said that the Iraq War was wrong, certain newspapers who supported the war, including the News International papers, want to say negative things about him.

    I read this once, “In business you do not ask, what is a person saying and is it or is it not true. You ask, who is saying it, and why are they saying it now”.

    Perhaps this is something to consider in politics as well.

    Of course UKIP and the Lib Dems are also against the Iraq invasion.

    At the time of the First World War there was an idea called Jingoism. It was in a British song
    ” We don’t want to fight , but by jingo, if we do,
    We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the guns,
    We’ve got the money too”

    The words are “we don’t want to fight”. With the Iraq invasion, it is more like we do want to fight, in every conflict that does n’t concern us. It’s a quick way to lose money, but it’s only the taxpayer’s money.

  13. AW,

    There’s quite a difference between people who have tended to vote a certain way voting as before having been undecided for a time and those, it’s suggested, who know full well that they are likely to vote for a particular party but are shy or embarrassed about telling the world of their plans.

    If I understand you correctly, the pollsters (at least, most of them) are fully aware of what is happening in both these groups and which way these voters are likely to jump. Therefore, there’s no magic ‘shy Tories’ or ‘Shy any party’ load of voters who’ll come out of the woodwork come polling day and surprise us all.

  14. Adge3
    Jingoism and the song predate WW1 by about 40 years, we were chucking our then considerable weight about against the Russians. And the bluster worked, in that there was no war.
    Always best to get your historical refs as accurate as poss, if you’re gonna make em.


    “I’ve never bought the assumption that this is necessarily because of “shyness” – it may be that those people’s current indecision is completely genuine… but they there are none-the-less more likely to end up plumping for the devil they know.”


    Oh, they definitely exist. You only had to work in education for a week or so to see it. Though they may have reduced in number somewhat lately. You could see the change in the “out” Tories pre- and post- Omnishambles too. Before Omnishambles: very upfront about the Tory thing. Post Omnishambles… er, not so much, as they rapidly become a figure of fun, and there are no mods in the bar.

    Same thing happened after Black Wednesday. You can see it on the web too. And how many still admit to being LDs online? Even though they may be orange bookers supporting the policies, the embarrassment factor’s significant. I mean, sure, their cohort has halved, but they still poll 10%, but while there were plenty around before the election, hardly any post now, at least while admitting to being LDs. Even on the Graun… rare as hens teeth. It’s like they should be a protected species or summat. And the Graun is a Lib Dem rag…

  16. Though haven’t peoole said the shy thing might be greater with phone polling than online?…

  17. With reference to the ‘shy’ Tory or Labour voters; I wonder about ‘shy’ (for want of a better word) voters generally. Do we have much polling information on what % of those who say they won’t vote actually end up voting?
    My view has always been that the oft repeated point about a decline in voting participation has been exaggerated – there’s not a huge difference between the % voting in 1945 and in 2010, especially when you consider all the other social changes over 65 years.

  18. @Carfrew etc

    What about yellow yellows?

    “Don’t be giving ‘em ideas…. they’ll prolly change the law so one can vote from beyond the grave”

    It’s but a short step from post-al votes to post-humous votes

  19. @Guymonde

    Or mellow yellows? And funnily enough, we’re having humous at the mo’, with Doritos…

  20. HookesLaw

    peter Crawfird says – ‘fed up with what they regard as metropolitan elite agenda of cameron… ”

    I grow a bit tired of this regular moan and conclude its just put up by people who cannot think for themselves.

    Hmm. So these people can’t think for themselves because they are failing to think exactly the same as another group of people. Run that past me again.

    Actually I sort of know what you mean, because very often such people may denounce what they see as the actions of a ‘metropolitan elite’ in terms that are far from thought out. They may indeed be copied from newspapers written by members of that very self-same elite, with a slightly different agenda but the same sniffy attitude towards the plebs.

    But lack of originality doesn’t stop such fed-up people from voting and their feelings are genuine even if not well expressed. The media have become more and more prone to groupthink in recent years and even more London-centred. As a result what they tend to focus on often feels alien or irrelevant to many people. UKIP have tended to pick-up on such feelings, but even those who do not agree with many of their policies may still think that what they see and read does not reflect their lives or opinions.

  21. @Ewen Lightfoot Thanks for that correction. You are quite right.

  22. Roger Mexico
    I suppose one has an image of John Bird’s and John Fortune’s characters in the snug, (well the quiet corner, not propping up the bar), in order to get an image of disdain for metropolitan elite.

    That’s a middle class image, naturally, but the characters portrayed could just as easily been two pigeon club members with flat caps rather than stalker hats.

    It’s a ‘Giles’ view of England (England, not UK).

  23. Perhaps linked to the feel good or not factor.Today is Lammas day ,which in the old Celtic calendar was the harvest or beginning of autumn.You can see this by the number of tractors with hay bales you get stuck behind.At least
    round here.But it also says that autumn is coming.England booted out of the
    World Cup ,Murray an ignominious failure at Wimbledon.The economy may or
    May not be recovering,depending on personal perception.No amount of spin
    Doctors can alter these things.Hmm.

  24. It’s subjective Ann. I have Vincenzo Nibali’s amazing performance and also that of Daniel Ricciardo fresh in memory. It’s not all about Blighty and I cannot imagine that today’s modern society is so interested in the nationality of excellence.

    Of course I could be wrong but only a poll would reveal that.

  25. Adge3

    You’re welcome.

  26. HOWARD

    @”Of course I could be wrong but only a poll would reveal that.”

    You don’t need an OP-just watch an inter-nation sporting event-like the Commonwealth Games.

    The crowd in the athletics stadium has been quite capable of cheering excellence & the best there is, whilst also breaking out into communal song to celebrate a favourite Scottish athlete.

    Bird & Fortune would have had a field day with some of the patronising, self important clap trap on here.

  27. I wonder if the security at YG, and other online pollsters, is good enough to resist external manipulation by GCHQ?

    “Change outcome of online polls” (UNDERPASS)

  28. @ Old Nat

    On-line polls? I worry more about the real polls… I still doubt there were actually all those shy Tories in 1992.

  29. Everything’s been said.


  30. TOH
    rE “post-humous” voting, this would, I am sure you would agree, add to the fashion for being buried in one’s garden, or possibly the ,beneath the compost plot .

  31. possibly the allotment, beneath…..

  32. Amber Star
    There was a thriller called, ‘Game Ten’ I think written at the time, which posited just what you have described. The electoral stats on which it was based were robust and persuasive , as I recall.

  33. @Newhouset

    “Everything’s been said. End”

    So we won’t be hearing from you again any time soon, then? :-)

    Actually, joking aside, if you’re referring to these
    polls, you may well be right!

    @John Pilgrim

    “..beneath the compost plot.”

    You remind me of dear old Harold Wilson; plots everywhere!

  34. @ Ewen

    That sounds like a fun read. I shall look out for it when I’m at the bookstore or library. :-)


    But which allotment, mine or my wife’s? LOL

  36. TOH
    If you are going to pine for your beautiful shallots, it had better be yours.

  37. Or as Jimmy James used to say, “‘Aye Aye That’s shallot.”

    What do you mean, who’s Jimmy James?

  38. That’ my old name before I shortened?

  39. And I always thought your real name was Pyjama!

  40. Roger Mexico — re ‘metropolitan elite’.

    ”But lack of originality doesn’t stop such fed-up people from voting and their feelings are genuine even if not well expressed. ”

    I am just wondering how many of those people exist. For sure there are professional moaners populating the web who use the phrase because they have a chip on their shoulder. One way or another they would find some group to blame for their own inadequacy. But the phrase is totally bogus.
    What theyt cannot recognise is that there are people who are polititians who we vote in to power. They have to come from somewhere; in fact they come from all over the place.

    For the most part these peole have to grapple with problems that are fundamentally intractable. Things will never go to plan (irrespective of the plans merits). And when they do not, the bogus complainers come out with their bogus excuses.
    As I say I grow tired of it.

  41. What;s the received wisdom in Scotland about the effect, if any, of the Commonwealth Games on the referendum?

  42. I don’t think shy Tories are an issue for this election. What we saw then is what we will see next year for many voters ; holding their nose but voting to keep a deeply unpopular figure from winning.

  43. Is there any polling evidence that Kinnock was and/or Ed Milliband is deeply unpopular.

    Evdence that neither was/is popular but that is different not just pendantically but practically.

  44. Charles

    I don’t think there is any “received wisdom” on the issue. Some speculation, but all of it as informed as what you would expect from journalists!

    There is a Con-Res poll being published at 8pm by STV on Tuesday, just prior to the Salmond/Darling debate. It’s in the field at the moment.

    If there has been any effect, it might show through there.

  45. Charles

    That should have been Com-Res (not Con-Res), though if one of the questions is as alleged “In twenty years’ time, do you think there will be more or less oil in the North Sea, or about the same amount?” then who knows? :-)

  46. You refer to the London Mayor election and the low level of recognition for alternative candidates, something which has concentrated the minds of the Conservatives for much of the history of this election, and now also affects Labour.

    The lack of recognised candidates will almost certainly have an impact upon an already low level of turnout (just over 1 in 3 of the electorate) – pollsters and commentators cannot seem to get to grips with the low interest in this election (or the reasons for it), with opinion polling figures for the 2012 election of ‘absolutely certain to vote’ almost 20% higher than the eventual turnout. The figure is almost double when those who just say they intend to vote are taken into account.

    One way of dealing with this could be US-style advertising to familiarise the public with the candidates – ITV in the UK has effectively abandoned serious editorial coverage and the BBC does it in lacklustre and ‘by rote’ fashion. There is little except personalised invective about the two ‘main’ candidates in the popular press. Serious coverage is sparse and the overall lack of media will have a heavy impact on public interest.

  47. Latest betting odds for a Yes vote have lengthened during the Games, down to a 14% probability now.

    The sight and sound of Home Nations supporters cheering on each other appears to be demonstrating a strong bond, precisely what the Yes crowd didn’t need….

  48. On this note, just like to say these Games have been superb. Great support from the crowds and exceptionally well-organised.

    Memories of two years ago flooding back watching all this!

  49. CROSSBAT11.
    Harold was right, however.

    There were plots everywhere; his enemies behind him, and the Opposition in front of him. HW said.

  50. Jim Jam

    The recent poll by Com Res showed that having Miliband as leader made 54% of those polled less likely to vote Labour. And this was a poll that had the Tories at 27%.

    The case that the Tory press will and have to make is that if you are considering voting for anyone other than the Conservatives you are helping to put Miliband in No.10. []

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