We’ve had two new voting intention polls today, and both continue the trend of increasing Green party support. I briefly mentioned the monthly ICM poll for the Guardian earlier on today, which had the Green party up four points to 9%, the highest they have ever registered in an ICM/Guardian poll. Just out is the daily YouGov poll for the Sun which has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 30%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%, GRN 10%.

The ten point score for the Greens is the first time they’ve broken into double figures with YouGov, and in this case it’s pushed Labour down to 30%, the lowest YouGov have shown them at this Parliament. In terms of the Labour position it’s obviously just one poll and all the usual caveats apply, but for the Greens this is clearly part of a broader trend that is being picked up across many different polls. For all the ponderings about what the effect of having the Green party included in the debates might have been, it looks as if they may be getting a pretty good boost from the arguments around their exclusion from the debates. How sticky that support is remains to be seen.

160 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 32, LAB 30, LD 8, UKIP 15, GRN 10”

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    “Those who have reached that dubious conclusion and consider themselves to be on the “left” should be doing cartwheels of joy today, at the news that the Greens have hit double figures with YouGov, the fact of a 2% Con lead being a mere detail of little concern. Personally, I can’t share that elation (@Allan Christie, FPT, there’s your answer)”

    Not quite cartwheels but more of a roly poly regarding the latest Green VI.

    We have seen the right split into Tory and UKIP, the left has been by and large dominated by Labour (although not so in Scotland) and now the Greens appear to be eating into the left vote.

    It’s healthy for democracy that other forces are now breaking the mold and the way the big two think. A surge in the UKIP and Green VI might actually push DC and EM into what their voters actually want to see.

    The polls currently tell us that neither the Tories or Labour are appealing to the majority of the voters and although i do expect UKIP and the Greens to implode at the GE, until then both along with the SNP could push the main two parties in the right direction over policy announcements and regain some much trust and respect.

    So not quite cartwheels but more of a satisfied roly poly on the grass.

    Personally I’m neither on the left or the right but somewhere in between.

  2. The trouble for both the parties is that they can no longer appeal to the centre and maintain their left/right wings. They are also both hidebound to policy positions which worked well in the past and they imagine them working in today’s totally different context. The trouble is, they are mistaken. The Tories aren’t going to win on Thatcher’s platform and Labour aren’t going to win on Blair’s.

    I suspect that both Cameron and Miliband realise this, but neither are able to get it past the elements of their parties that are living in the past of the 1980s/90s.

  3. Anarchists Unite

    “People respond better to imaginative vision than they do fear.”

    Some do. Others respond more to fear.

    There is evidence from twin studies that there is a genetic component in that difference.

    “According to an emerging idea, political positions are substantially determined by biology and can be stubbornly resistant to reason.”


    Just wait for Alan and the “data scientists” to start mining the information from our DNA samples. :-)

    Today’s YG Scottish crossbreak
    SNP 40% : Lab 26% : Con 18% : LD 5% : UKIP 6% : Grn 5%
    Mean of last 13 YG Scottish crossbreaks (sample 1940)
    SNP 41% : Lab 27% : Con 17% : LD 5% : UKIP 6% : Grn 4%






    Quite extraordinary, the Tories would double their seat tally. For the rest, business as usual. ;-)

  5. Unemployment rate down to 5.8%

    Average pay excl. bonuses up 1.8% pa

    Is five months of this steady improvement going to be a decisive factor in a climate of voter uncertainty about who to vote for?

    What will the 25th Jan result in Greece throw into the mix ?

  6. Colin

    “Is five months of this steady improvement going to be a decisive factor in a climate of voter uncertainty about who to vote for?”

    And to add to the complexities – outside England, which of their two Governments gets most of the credit from swing voters?

  7. Colin

    PS I’m not suggesting that any Government necessarily deserves any credit! :-)

  8. Looks like the offer on tuition fees from labour needs to be out soon.

  9. Now that the Greens are starting to hit double figures, does that mean we will start getting a column for them in the poll tables so we can start to understand what their issues are?

    I can’t remember what level of support triggered a UKIP column, but all pollsters now have one, I think it is time for a Green one.

    Also, why is there no column for the undecided/ don’t knows? Surely those are some of the most important voters who could swing one way or the other depending on policies?

  10. 07052015,

    There were understandably a few questions about it at the event in Sheffield last week. My suggestion which I keep banging on about is that they should get Ed up to the Endcliffe Village in Sheffield Hallam constituency and make the announcement there. There’s a big dining hall they could use for it, or do it outside.

  11. Mr N,

    Maybe stopping the war in Syria is the antidote to the war in Iraq? It is much more recent, and with the current leader, so you would think it would count for more in polling terms.

  12. Hal,

    Sometimes. Basically my standard response to people angry about Iraq is:

    – Plenty of us hated it too, and I marched against it.
    – We’ve moved on from then, and voted to stop Syria.
    – Miliband wasn’t in Parliament then, but was opposed.

    Sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. When it doesn’t, I tend to suspect it’s less about the war specifically and more about general mistrust.

  13. Good figures for the government today; wages rising above inflation. Though it looks like youth unemployment remains a bit of an issue; probably highlighted best in Scotland where employment rose but official unemployment rose, I suspect because of students and school leavers joining the queue.

  14. @Barney @Old Nat

    Dundee had the highest Yes vote in Scotland. Jim Murphy came to Dundee to stir up trouble, so he could continue his campaign to demonise the independence movement and by association the SNP. Even my husband who has never been political, but voted Yes was tempted to go and shout something at him. If you are on 27% of the vote and your opponent is on 40% then demonising and playing to the base is not the best strategy – in particular with close on 100k members it is likely that most Scots know a member of the SNP. Murphy is polarising and making things worse for Labour.

  15. Anthony

    Looking at today’s Yougov, Immigration is still the main issue across all regions.

    I played with the BES data and came up with this graph


    “Government Office Region vs Immigration enriches or undermines cultural life”

    If you look at that London is very different to the other regions. I find it odd at London does not show the same difference on the question of immigration as an issue on the Yougov tables, which leads me to think the Yougov London crossbreak is still not ethnically correct. (it is not just this Yougov, I have noticed that as a trend).

  16. LURKER
    The trouble for both the parties is that they can no longer appeal to the centre and maintain their left/right wings. They are also both hidebound to policy positions which worked well in the past and they imagine them working in today’s totally different context. The trouble is, they are mistaken. The Tories aren’t going to win on Thatcher’s platform and Labour aren’t going to win on Blair’s.

    Quite so, but should either Lab or Con manage to scrape an overall majority in the HoC this time it will be business as usual, with all thoughts of real electoral reform forgotten on both Lab & Con benches. I suspect that many of the 30% to 40% who won’t be voting for either would be happy for either to run a weak minority government if the prize of real democracy is delivered by the end of it. And should Lab & Con unite to defeat it their goal of LabCon establishment hegemony will be even harder to achieve next time as they will have been outed as the undemocrats they are.

  17. @PhilHaines – yours of 0831 – precisely

    I have long held the view that Lab needs to get across a sense of what it stands for, because otherwise it becomes a battle of managerial competence: it is likely to lose such a battle because of the forces ranged against it and its own ineptitude in rebutting some of the nonsense spoken. Whilst Lab pretends to be Tory Lite, it’s not surprising that Greens and SNP say – ha, they’re Tory Lite, why bother?

    I find it risible that Barney is attacked for campaigning when there is never a single thread on here which is not infested with SNP propaganda :)

  18. Couper
    “Jim Murphy came to Dundee to stir up trouble”

    Oh please.

    Murphy is the leader of Scottish Labour & it’s his job to get his message out to everybody in Scotland, including the residents of Dundee.

    Shouting at an MP in the street – classy.

  19. “they will have been outed as the undemocrats they are.”

    Labour’s leader was elected by a ballot of members, parliamentarians and trade unionists. Is the same true of the leaders of the SNP or the Green Party?

  20. Guymonde
    “Barney is attacked”

    whenever he posts on here should be in that sentence.

    (& as somebody who doesn’t know him, I squirm when I read the abuse thrown at him)

  21. @MrNameless

    The Greens have an open and democratic process for electing Leaders.

    Each person’s vote is worth the same as everyone elses.

    Are you seriously questioning the legitimacy of their process?

  22. Bramley

    What abuse gets thrown at Barney?

  23. Both party’s leaders were elected unopposed is the point I was getting at. It seems unlikely to me that 100% of people in each party support Sturgeon/Bennett respectively.

  24. Another reasonably good poll for the Tories at this stage of the Parliament. I continue to feel confident about my prediction of the result in May.

  25. One good gutsy statement about renationalising the railways should do it. :)

    Labour’s leader was elected by a ballot of members, parliamentarians and trade unionists. Is the same true of the leaders of the SNP or the Green Party?

    I’m not a member of any party. You would be better to direct your question to a poster who is. I was surprised to note, however, that in the recent LiS leadership elections, no membership numbers or turnout percentages were made public, as I seem to recall they were for the Labour Party leadership elections in 2010.

    However, as you well know, my point had nothing to do with internal party democracy but with electoral reform for public office at Westminster.

    PS: I note that once more your post didn’t mention my moniker. If you’re unable to use “copy & paste” when quoting me, feel free to identify me as BZ.

  27. BZ,

    Apologies. I’ll stick to convention in future!


    There’s certainly sufficient public mood and will within the leadership and the PLP to do it. I’ve long thought of railway renationalisation as Labour’s “nuclear option” that’s good for one use to get out of a tight jam. The time may be approaching where they can use it.

  28. Memo to EM -time for that policy on student loans and tuition fees.

  29. @Mr Nameless

    No one wanted to challenge Natalie as Leader (which is fair enough). In that instance you get a ballot paper to support the only candidate or reopen the ballot.

    93.47% voted for her and 6.53% voted to reopen nominations.

    I don’t want start something here, but I have of recent times detected an slightly unpleasant pickingness at things Green, which seems to be partisan and niggly.

    It isn’t required.

    I won’t mention this again.

  30. @Mr Nameless

    Two words : Gordon Brown


    Accepted – it does make identifying comments needing a response easier.

    Will we have to wait for the manifesto to see if Lab have any commitment to electoral reform?

    I presume that despite your leader’s personal support for AV he won’t be advocating a re-run of the AV referendum.

  32. @Couper – not naive but not looking at the situation through partisan spectacles.
    His job is to garner sufficient votes for Labour so as to return a Labour government in May. You seem to think that he should sit in an office & say nothing to the residents of Scotland for fear that when he speaks, he might be successful in taking votes away from the SNP.

    @OldNat – as you might expect, I can’t answer your question without starting a partisan argument which is against the rules of the site, rules which appear to be applied more to some than others.

  33. BZ,

    PR was brought up during the Sheffield speech last friday. Ed’s response was (to try and quote from memory)

    “I do support a fairer voting system, and supported AV referendum, but the referendum showed us that’s not what people want”.

    It’s an exercise for the reader to extrapolate from that.


    That’s fair. I did get slightly fed up and was less than professional in my posting. Apologies. Having said that, there have long been many posters (not you) who can’t resist having a dig at Labour whenever possible. That’s not necessary either.

  34. Most of the talk since this YouGov poll has been about the Labour situation but I wonder if this Green surge is also going to be particularly bad news for the Lib Dems in their marginals with the Tories.

    We’ve seen from Ashcroft that although the Lib Dems are being hammered in LD-Lab marginals they are performing better when up against Tory opposition.

    It’s one thing for them to think they can squeeze the Labour vote in those marginals when push comes to shove and Labour voters faced with the choice of an LD or Tory MP (especially as this might affect the maths in a hung parliament), but I suspect it is going to be harder for the LDs to shift a Green voting intention simply because those people appear to have made a decision to vote for a party not likely to return an MP in their constituency. Labour might be the default response before being squeezed- Green seems more like a conscious decision.

    Perhaps the same applies in Lab-Tory marginals and Labour may find it hard to squeeze the Green vote but I suspect the Green voters may see a bit more of a difference between Labour and Tory than they do between LD and Tory if for no other reason than Lib Dems having been in coalition with the Tories for 5 years.

    I always expected, despite poor poll ratings, that the LD’s would still end up with at least 30 seats. The more these polls continue in their current direction the more I begin to doubt that.

  35. @Norbold

    I suspect that Labour are hindered from re-nationalising rail in a straightforward way by EU competition laws and the WTO. Hence, the Ed Balls strategy of a public bid being made when franchises expire.

    Even this would probably prove impossible if the EU-US trade deal TTIP is ratified. The Bilateral trade deal enshrines an international law which specifies no nationalisation and the capacity of putative operators to sue the UK government for loss of future profits. This is what has happened in Germany under current rules. Vattenfall, a Swedish company is suing the German government for 4+bn in compensation, following their decision to abandon nuclear power.

  36. Bramley

    I’m surprised that you accuse Anthony of taking a partisan approach to moderation.

    I’ve always found him very even-handed with regard to individual posters.

  37. Shevii,

    It’s an interesting question. There is a presumption that many Greens are those who went LD in 2010, then to Lab, and now to Greens. But that might only be true in places where Labour were the natural opposition. Where Labour barely exist (plenty of Lib-Con marginals) they may be those who stayed Lib Dem through 2014.

    On paper, the Greens are hurting the Lib Dems most. In practice they hurt Labour most because their voters largely went Labour after they were Lib Dem, which isn’t recorded in polls because it works off 2010 votes.

    I really don’t know who will be dealt the most damage.

  38. I looked at IPSOS mori and they do show a clear difference in their London crossbreak on the question of immigration as an issue.


    GB level 25%, London 14%

    They also release a new finding from their political monitor yesterday that asked if we discuss immigration too much – again a clear difference on the London cross break

    GB 37% too much, London 47% too much.

    So that may go some way to accounting for their house effects of lower overall UKIP scores overall as well – they are getting their ethnicity weighting correct.

    So one to watch – immigration as an issue on London crossbreaks – London should show lower than other regions, if not, the sample is probably not ethnically correct, so the final result will be too high for UKIP.

  39. shevii

    Good point about the potential impact of the Greens on potential LD support.

    I suspect that it might be difficult to discern in GB polls as continuing churn may have a disproportionate effect on smaller parties, but constituency polling in particular types of areas may indicate such.

    I’m thinking particularly of places like the Highlands or “liberal” middle-class urban constituencies.


    Thanks for the info, although the conclusion he draws seems to be identical to the PM’s. Hardly encouraging.

    Perhaps he should dust off the 1998 Jenkins Report and re-read it.
    See http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/RP98-112.pdf

  41. The social media battle. A fascinating chart of interactions on Facebook with the parties
    Greens 96k
    SNP 33k
    UKLabour 35k
    Conservative 17k

    So you can see that the SNP & Greens are using social media to communicate far more than the traditional parties. Probably age demographic and lack of support in MSM

  42. Couper,

    How many do the LDs have? I imagine plenty liked them in 2010.

  43. @MrNameless

    The fact that Natalie Bennett was re-elected unopposed last year probably has something to do with the extra level of accountablilty and democracy in the Green party constitution whereby there must be a leadership election every two years. When initially elected in 2012, Bennett was the surprise winner in a 4-way contest.

  44. OLDNAT

    I wasn’t really considering implications in Scotland. Different stimuli & influences are evident, and the range of parties likely to benefit from significant churn seems more restricted-and more evident ?

  45. @ Mr Nameless

    I’m in no doubt that a high Green vote hurts Labour- I just felt there was a chance it might proportionately hurt the Lib Dems more (and in the event of a hung parliament do double damage to the Maths of a Labour minority government).

    Talking of Lib Dems I know how much you enjoy your Lib Dem graphs…

    I was pondering the chances of the Lib Dems actually having a full slate at the next election and thinking about my Wigan constituency given they only stood a couple of candidates at the locals last year (with more Green candidates- Wigan didn’t have a Green choice at the 2010 GE) so went onto their site with no sign of them promoting a prospective candidate :


    The thing that struck me was a) perfectly to scale bar charts and b) Lib Dems in third place in all three. I wonder if someone there has misunderstood the LD memo to print lots of bar charts in literature :-)

  46. SUE

    It is ISDS within TTIP as proposed which is the problem.

    The European Parliament will adopt a position on TTIP in May. Early signs are that this will be a real showdown .

    German Social Democrat Bernd Lange from the trade committee, one of the most important parliamentarians on TTIP, wrote recently that everything important “can be attained in TTIP without the inclusion of ISDS provisions”.

    We will see.

  47. May2015’s “poll of polls” (I despise that term but it’s the world we live in).

    LAB—31.9% (-0.7)
    CON—31.4% (+0.1)
    UKIP—14.4% (-0.2)
    LD—8.5% (+0.1)
    GRN—7.9% (+0.8)

  48. Shevii,

    They’re learning! Not in Hallam or any seat where they can win, mind.

  49. Because of the frequency of their polls there is a danger of becoming too YouGov centric here. I pointed out that the sharp fall in Labour’s vote since early 2014 has certainly not been mirrored by ICM whose latest data does rather contradict last night’s YouGov. The same is basically true of Populus and – to a slightly lesser extent – Opinium whose latest figures for Labour are unchanged since last May. MORI is rather more supportive of YouGov – though its methodology is very different and the latest survey shows Labour recovering somewhat.

  50. SYZYGY

    “I suspect that Labour are hindered from re-nationalising rail in a straightforward way by EU competition laws.”

    Even better then. Win over some UKIP voters by standing up to the EU!

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