As well as the regular GB poll, YouGov have released new Welsh and London polls this week.

The London polling for the Evening Standard is here and has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 42%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 10%, GRN 8%. Despite its Conservative mayor London tends to be more Labour than the country as a whole – at the last election the Labour party were two points ahead of the Tories in London, compared to the seven point Tory lead across Great Britain. This means a ten point Labour lead in London is a four point swing from Con to Labour, the equivalent of a one point Labour lead in a GB poll. In other words, the swing to Labour in London is pretty much the same as in Britain as a whole.

The Welsh polling for ITV Wales and Cardiff University is here and has topline figures of CON 23%, LAB 37%, LDEM 6%, PC 10%, UKIP 16%, GRN 8%. Compared to the general election result this is Labour up 1, the Conservatives down 3 – a swing of 2 points (so actually a smaller swing to Labour than in Britain as a whole). Roger Scully of Cardiff University’s analysis of the poll is here.


419 Responses to “YouGov London and Welsh polling”

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  1. @AC

    Ever the optimist.

    There is a lot of potential upside to the Labour VI if they up their game, which I think they will. Labour has managed to increase the salience of the NHS to equal with the economy and immigration. I’m sure that Labour will now shift tack a bit. The Conservatives are I think vulnerable to a “back to the 1930s” campaign focused on Osborne’s plans for the next five years.

    The Conservatives have by contrast been hitting their head against the low 30s (or under) ceiling for so long that it’s hard to see them improving further.

    On the question of whether the polls are underestimating the Conservatives, I’ll throw in one nugget. The latest Ashcroft polling has the Conservatives 1% ahead currently, but the Labour share improves and the lead disappears when the specific “constituency” question is asked.

  2. @Amber

    You could have added that another factor is the incumbency advantage, which could well help Labour outperform their polling in close contests with the SNP. Labour isn’t going to throw that away unnecessarily in potentially close contests with the Nats.

  3. @RAF

    “LiS edging towards 30% but no sign of slippage in the SNP vote.”

    Indeed. Both are climbing in the past couple of polls (and so in the Con VI – UKIP seem to be the losers here).

    At the national level, it looks like the Lab lead is closing fast (25-poll, weighted):

    http://www.statgeek.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/25-weighted-uk.png

  4. One new thing in the Yougov is that the seven poll rolling average has moved (fractionally) in the Tories favour for the first time in three years. It was on zero twice in December and once in November.

    I think it is safe to conclude that Labour and the Tories are tied on Yougov, but there is not yet any sign of a genuine Tory lead on that measure.

  5. The problem for Labour on the NHS is the underlying questions are bad for them. Firstly 94% of people in England rate the NHS good or excellent. Then on a recent YouGov Cameron scored -35 on ‘trust to spend enough money on the NHS’ to Miliband’s -36!

    Andy Burnham has difficulty in interviews – last nights Newsnight is an example, because he started the privatisation.

    With the ‘weaponising’ comment Miliband has made his strategy a bit too transparent. I don’t think this is the vote winner for that them they think it is.

    @Amber Star
    Murphy better win his seat because to be LiS leader must be an MP or MSP – bit awkward all round if he doesn’t.

  6. John,

    My judgement is based on a limited degree of scepticism as to the reliability of polling, not statistical inference in general. As for margins of error, one can’t use them as anything other than a useful heuristic, because the samples are nonrandom, and deliberately so, in order to secure representativeness.

  7. Couper2802,

    Interesting points. I still think that the NHS is a good issue for Labour, if for no other reason that time spent discussing the NHS is not time spent discussing the deficit or bacon sandwiches.

  8. labour should be more ambitious and have a critque of the government’s economic record.

    by contrast, Milburn and the Blairites are right to say this, labour is sticking to its comfort blanket of the NHS. very uninspiring.

    both parties will probably get about 33%, though I see more upside for the tories.

    I think labour’s failure to make any real headway this parliament is one of the lessons that future politicians will learn from this period.

    But of course the key to the election is the SNP’s impact on labour up north.

    I agree with the earlier remark that the Cameron-Miliband fight is one between an average leader and a below-average one.

  9. I do think it’s a bad choice of language if EM did say he wants to weaponise the NHS…definite mistake in my book.

  10. Another good poll for the Tories, and more reasons on why the Tories can’t win from those who don’t wont them to win.

    Having just returned from hearing my sons inaugural lecture as a Professor, and toasting his success in Champagne I must say I’m feeling really chipper today!

  11. TOH

    “Having just returned from hearing my sons inaugural lecture as a Professor”

    But did you understand it? :-)

  12. Oldnat

    Yes quite a bit, One of the rules governing the inaugural lecture was that it must be aimed at discussing his area of research but in terms the layman understood.

    :-)

  13. TOH

    Making research comprehensible is a hard task! Well done to him.

  14. The trouble with ‘Weaponise’ is Weapons=Death. And in the context of the NHS it sounds like he wants people to die so he can use their deaths against the Tories. I know that isn’t the real meaning but that is the connotation of it – and I am sure the Tories will be reminding voters of that word for a long time. Nick Robinson did the Tories a big favour.

  15. There are some odd things in today’s YouGov. The Conservatives leading Labour 38% to 26% in the under-25s is a little unusual perhaps. And the Conservatives on 23% in Scotland (and UKIP on zilch) reminds us that Scottish cross-breaks really haven’t got that much better.

    I was also struck by the discrepancy between the London figures and the ones in the ‘proper’ London poll in this thread. This isn’t just a one-off. If you look at Statgeek’s averages:

    http://www.statgeek.co.uk/charts/london-six-poll-averages.png

    they show today’s figures are pretty standard with Labour pretty continuously under 40%. But even the ‘hidden’ ES polls had Labour consistently over, so there is clearly something odd here. The main beneficiaries seem to be UKIP. Of course this bias may well be corrected systematically elsewhere in the poll, so the headline figures could still be correct, but it’s still odd and perhaps the reason YouGov made methodological changes at the start of the month.

  16. What I find curious is how a briefing, presumably made on lobby terms, should make it back to the PM.

  17. Oldnat

    Your right, thanks, he did do well.

  18. TOH

    A proud day for you & your good lady :-)

  19. Colin

    Thanks, we are very proud of him, I was the first in the family to get a degree, he has certainly outshone his old man!
    My son is a biochemist & immunologist, so hopefully his research will ultimately be of benefit to mankind

  20. I haven’t trawled through the whole thread, so apologies if anyone has pointed this out before, but what struck me about the Welsh poll was how poorly Plaid are doing, particularly compared to UKIP. I wonder why there is such a contrast to Scotland, where of course SNP are doing incredibly well, and UKIP are much lower.

    Could it be that there are more English exiles in Wales, or that more of the Wesh feel loyalty to the UK? Any other theories?

  21. TOH

    A very worthwhile calling .

  22. @Pete B

    I was surprised as well. I would have thought the boost the SNP and independence movement received and also the referendum itself would have boosted Plaid. All the attention and promises to Scotland, should have led them to think if we vote Plaid maybe we’ll get a bit more attention. And the association with SNP and Greens so making a larger block at Westminster should also have boosted them.

    Can any Welsh contributor explain because it’s a bit of a mystery

  23. @Lurker

    Maybe because Robinson is a Tory. He is not exactly unbiased so not surprised he let the Tories know about it. Probably realised straight away how damaging it was.

  24. @Roger

    Just thinking…the London, six-poll averages tend to have samples of around 195, so six poll is about 1150 or so. MoE of about 2.9% for what it’s worth.

    I know just batching them together and applying a batch MoE isn’t very scientific, given that the polls degrade with age and all that, but it’s a reasonable indicator compared to no indicator at all.

  25. @Lurker

    “I think it is safe to conclude that Labour and the Tories are tied on Yougov, but there is not yet any sign of a genuine Tory lead on that measure.”

    I think what will be interesting to see is if this slight Tory improvement is the early evidence of some gathering momentum or just some little MOE contrived blip. As you say, it’s far too early to tell, although the next two YouGovs this week might provide further clues.

    That said, and taking into account the other polls released this week from different pollsters, I think it’s probably fair to say that we’ve moved from a small Labour lead to more or less a dead heat over the last seven days or so.

    Glacial, almost imperceptible, but will it result in real momentum for the Tories? Let’s see.

  26. CROSSBAT11

    To borrow a phrase from Stephen Jay Gould, I would suggest that the polls follow a pattern of punctuated equilibrium. There was a big drop in the Labour VI shortly after the Scottish Referendum which changed the situation from a small Labour majority to having Labour as the largest party.

    Apart from a short-term move upwards in the Labour support after the Autumn Statement which then reversed, nothing much has changed since then.

    It is also worth noting that the Tories are polling around one point lower than this time last year according to Yougov (using a seven-poll rolling average). This drop is much smaller than for Labour over the same period of course. This might suggest that the long-term trend is one of supporting leaching away from the two biggest parties.

  27. @ TOH

    Pleased for you and congratulations to your son.

    I might even suggest to that crazed looking man in the Villa top waving a machete that he leaves that one alone at least :-)

  28. It really surprises me how unpopular Ed Miliband is in Scotland.

    Given a list if positive characteristics:

    None of them ( so no positive characteristic) scores in Scotland/ UK

    Cameron 53%
    Miliband 63%
    Clegg 57%

    So Miliband scores worse out of the three leaders in Scotland – extrodinary

  29. Couper2802,

    It really is an amazing statistic for a Labour leader. Who was the last Labour leader to have lower rating in Scotland than their Tory opposite number? Hugh Gaitskill, MAYBE?

  30. Given that the Conservatives need more than an 11 point lead over Labour for a bare majority and given the polls movements, if any, have been so glacial, to cause this wouldn’t a late swing of such magnitude be unprecedented? And even then such a small majority near unworkable, so really a bigger lead of more like at least 14 points would be needed.

    Is another coalition government of some description inevitable?

    Of course due to the vagueries of the fptp Labour need a lead of less than 3 points, admittedly struggling on current trends, but at least for them it remains feasible.

  31. One of the problems with using the NHS as an issue is that there seems to be a bit of a mood (at least judging from multiple QT panels, admittedly not good evidence) that there should be more cross-party co-operation and less bickering regarding the NHS. The term ‘weaponize’ is not only a bad phrase, but one that is out of spirit with the times. More seriously, I’m not sure how much public demand there is for an old-fashioned punch-up on the NHS, and by ring-fencing it the Tories have somewhat mitigated their problems regarding it.

  32. JOHNPOLITICO

    @allan Christie, @crossbat11, @RAF
    “I think swing back theory supports a gradual drift back to the Tories over the coming months, but I think it is the Cameron vs. Milliband effect that makes me believe it is more likely than not — I agree Tories will need well over 35% to have a chance of forming a government”

    “What is impossible to know at this stage is whether Farage and UKIP will start to fade away or actually thrive on the publicity they will have and the benefit of a simple, populist message”
    __________

    The UKIP factor will be interesting because most of their VI are saying they will stick with UKIP but I believe around 20% of Kippers will go back to the Tories before May which will make a difference to the Tory vote.

    I agree with you on Cameron vs. Milliband effect. The polls are showing DC is more popular than EM although the dire ratings for the both of them are nothing to shout about.

    My money is on the Tories to win the most seats and the popular vote but without a majority. Sorry Howard if you’re about.

  33. PHIL HAINES
    @AC
    Ever the optimist.

    There is a lot of potential upside to the Labour VI if they up their game, which I think they will. Labour has managed to increase the salience of the NHS to equal with the economy and immigration.

    I’m sure that Labour will now shift tack a bit. The Conservatives are
    I think vulnerable to a “back to the 1930s” campaign focused on Osborne’s plans for the next five years.

    The Conservatives have by contrast been hitting their head against the low 30s (or under) ceiling for so long that it’s hard to see them improving further.

    On the question of whether the polls are underestimating the Conservatives, I’ll throw in one nugget. The latest Ashcroft polling has the Conservatives 1% ahead currently, but the Labour share improves and the lead disappears when the specific “constituency” question is asked
    _____

    I’m just looking at the trackers from the last election till now and Labour have let slip a rather impressive lead.

    The main narrative for Labour over the past while has been the economy but polls show the Tories are more trusted.

    Labour can choose whatever strategy it wants but on all the main performance indicators the Tories are trusted more. It’s going to be a hard sell for Labour to sell something to the voters which the Tories are trusted more to run.

    The NHS…If it’s in such a bad shape (in England) then why has EM left it until the last 99 days to shout about it when he has had the best part of 5 years?

    I’ve seen the Ashcroft data but I still believe within the next month the Tories will open up a 3% lead over Labour. I’m looking at all the background stuff and it aint good for EM.

  34. RICH
    “I do think it’s a bad choice of language if EM did say he wants to weaponise the NHS…definite mistake in my book”
    ____

    Ach that’s nothing, in Scotland Labour are accusing the SNP of trying to weaponise Trident.

    I mean as if!! ;-)

  35. JONATHAN

    “Given that the Conservatives need more than an 11 point lead over Labour”

    Aren’t all these calculations based on the assumption that UNS still exists?

    Obviously, there is no such thing as a “GB UNS”, and I doubt that there is a Scottish, Welsh, or English UNS one either.

    In Scotland, there will be lots of seat changes – we just don’t know how many yet.

    In Wales, the latest poll suggests little change.

    In NI, it was suggested on a previous thread that the DUP could increase their number of MPs – but due to inter-party deals, not voter changes.

    In England, it looks like there will be an increase in UKIP and Green votes without increased MPs – and perhaps from previous non-voters – and they won’t affect safe Tory/Lab seats anyway.

    So in England it presumably comes down to where the LD seats go in different kinds of constituencies and, as always, how the different types of English marginals end up.

  36. The Tory vote is more predictable 32% + what they can squeeze out the UKIP vote.
    Labour ?? 29% or 38% depending if they can get the LoC on board.

    Then there are the undecideds who are likely to break for – conventional wisdom would say the Tories because of their lead on the economy.

    I think Miliband will depress the Labour so early prediction:
    UK
    Labour 32%
    Conservative 35%
    LibDems 11%
    Ukip 11%
    Greens 6%
    Others 5%

    Scotland
    Labour 31%
    SNP 41%
    Cons 17%
    LD 5%
    Greens 3%
    UKIP 3%

  37. @ Pete B (and others). I have to admit to being a bit surprised why PC are not a little higher; some pointers perhaps

    PC’s leadership is not widely seen as inspiring and they have a constant internal and communication issue about what kind of party they are – more to the left of Labour or a centrist cultural nationalist party.

    As I’ve said before they are also hindered by the fact that their profile is so low in the UK media that so many Welsh people read (try the Western Mail once to see why). We also have lots of English incomers living here who are less likely to support a Welsh nationalist party and a Labour party who wrap themselves in the flag (y Ddraig Coch not the one which ignores us) fairly effectively. Perhaps fundamentally, when compared with Scotland we are both so much closer to England, physically, economically and in terms of family ties and so much weaker economically that independence – as opposed to autonomy – doesn’t seem desirable to many people.

    However the other quite remarkable thing about the welsh polls is the combined strength of the right; not only are the Tories holding up well but of course UKIP are quite strong; statistically that almost has to be disillusioned Labour voters, perhaps confirming quite how depoliticised we’ve become here!

  38. Tsipras hasn’t wasted any time:-
    The planned sale of the state’s 67% stake in the main port of Piraeus halted.
    The sale of shares in the Greek Power Utility stopped
    Public Sector workers to be re-hired.
    Mass Tourism to be discouraged.

    All conditions of Troika Bailout support.

    Mr T says Greece “will not default.”

    Northern EZ member ministers talking about “obligation” as well as “flexibility”.

    Fascinating .

  39. @ToH Congratulations. Enjoy your son’s success, and what must have been yours and your family’s contribution to it.

  40. @couper2802

    Reasoning being that the Scots see Miliband as holding back Labour; hes a hard one to place but I suspect his bad rating is just people expect him to do better.

    I’d suggest the referendum hit him as he made no impact (compared to the PM and ex-PM) but hes been polling bad here for a while.

    End of the day when your policies are directed at a devolved area, you can’t expect much. Scots disagree with most of Cameron’s non-devolved areas like benefits and tax but the majority are not affected and worse – Miliband has made suggestions he’ll match the tories.

  41. Nick Robinson said on DP several weeks ago that EM’s advisors (or some such phrase) told him that Ed wanted to weaponise the NHS.

    I don’t think they will be sharing stuff with him again.

    When the PM said that EM had told NR he must have known he was stretchiing the definition of told!

    I have thought for some time that a cross over to an small cons lead in the UKPR average was probable in March. (1-3% lead)

    Then the GE campaign plus the budget and reaction would determine the overall Con v Lab lead in vote share; with key marginals determining who gets most seats plus (since the Autumn) Lab losses to SNP having an impact of course.

    I wonder if this may occur in Feb now as a modest momentum seems to be with the Cons for a week or 2.

    No sign of a boost for the LDs though – maybe later or maybe not at all but as we have rehearsed frequently UNS of little relavanace in their ‘defends’.

  42. @Anthony

    Automod spoils all fun! :o

  43. Charles

    Thanks very much for your kind sentiments Charles, yes of course we helped him as much as possible, and he does have his old mans work ethic but its all down to his own ability really.

  44. SheVII

    Thanks :-)

  45. @The other Howard
    Well done TOH junior, “dun arf make a bloke fil prowed” does it not.
    I just learned whilst visiting my boy in Nepal, that he is to become a Major in his regiment, (Royal Gurkha Rifles.)

  46. Cooper2802 at 1.31

    “Robinson is a Tory”.

    You must be joking

  47. Chris in Cardiff

    Thanks for the interesting and informative reply. I have one pedantic quibble:

    “Perhaps fundamentally, when compared with Scotland we are both so much closer to England, physically, economically and in terms of family ties….”

    I’m not sure that Wales is physically closer to England than Scotland is – don’t they both share a border with England?

  48. TONYCORNWALL

    It is well known that Robinson used to head the Young Conservatives.

    Ian Hislop had some good fun at his expense on that point a few years back.

  49. LURKER

    Re Robinsons past, thank you for info.

  50. @Pete B,

    On average, a Welsh resident lives significantly closer to England than a Scottish resident does.

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