Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 34%, LDEM 5%, UKIP 14%, GRN 6%. The unusual three point lead Tory yesterday clearly wasn’t a one off. I will urge all my usual caution, two polls in a row do not necessary make a trend. However, of the last seven YouGov polls they’ve now shown three Tory leads, three draws and one Labour lead so something may indeed be afoot.

As ever, keep watching the broader trend and see what the rest of the week brings. I can’t see any obvious reason for a big shift in support over the last few days, so if there is a change, it’s likely to be the slow drift in public support that’s difficult to be certain about rather than an obvious step-change.

394 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 36, LAB 34, LD 5, UKIP 14, GRN 6”

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  1. Ashcroft says to keep in mind that some of his polling results are several months old.

  2. Also worth noting there is no Green candidate in East Renfrewshire and even after the 2010 vote reweight and spiral of silence readjustment the 3% Green CVI is much bigger than the 1% Jim Murphy lead over SNP.

    Seems reasonable that 3% might break favourably for SNP…

  3. @oldnat

    ”We could follow the Green example, and be co-convenors. I think we’d make a good team. :-) ”

    Excellent plan. I shall do all the bad live interviews and then you can make matters worse by telling everyone that I won’t talk about them afterwords ;-)

  4. Couper

    ” the aspiration of the Yes campaign, SNP and supporters in the press Sunday Herald that the plan was a Northern European Social Democratic country – high taxes, excellent public services, small gap between rich & poor.”

    That sounds accurate. Hence a strong aversion to a Con-led government in Westminster. But most Lab voters in E & W would support the “aspiration” you put forward, indeed a minority (as in Scotland) would consider this to be a starting point for something more Socialist.

    But why would this “coalition for Northern Social Democracy” hold together if the result of deposing Lab in Scotland was to re-install the Cons in Westminster, perhaps even as a majority Government ?

    Looking ahead, how might this play out at the next Scottish Assembly Election in 2016 ? ” Hello. I’m Nicola, we spent millions promoting a failed once-in-a lifetime independence referendum and fading dreams of social democracy-on-tap, we ensured the Tories are in power in Westminster, the bedroom tax which you love so much is being increased and widened. Westminster without Labour have ratted on devolving more taxes (including the bedroom tax) and they are reforming Barnett in favour of Wales where the Cons did surprisingly well in the May 2015 GE …. oh and BTW oil revenue and oil jobs are heading South. Vote SNP for more of the same ….

    The public mood can change v quickly especially when dreams are floated but cannot be attained.

  5. I’ve just returned to the real (sic) world of UKPR after inhabiting Cloud Nine for 24 hours following Villa’s last gasp triumph against our near neighbours from the Black Country. We’re the last team in England to claim a win in 2015 so I hope you can forgive me for lingering a while in a few Brummie hostelries on the way back from Aston last night. (Tark – commiserations and maybe an opportunity for revenge on Saturday. I’ll be there with the whole clan in tow,)

    As for the last two YouGov polls showing the Tories on 35 and 36, and ahead, I can understand the hyperbole in some quarters after years of dire poll ratings but the splurge of ecstasy may be a little premature, I think.

    As may be the pessimism from Labour sympathisers. Only two to three days ago we had two Populus and Opinium polls presenting markedly different stories. We need a lot more polls before any discernible and sustainable trend can be confirmed. One Ashcroft and two YouGovs aren’t enough for me to convince me that the Tories are sweeping to victory.

    I’m still intrigued by this lack of correlation between the Tory and Labour vote. Take today’s YouGov compared to yesterday’s. Tories up 1, Labour up 2. UKIP still sticking around 14% too.

  6. Roll A Hard Six


  7. @ Crossbat11

    Hope you weren’t one of the droves that left Villa Park before the penalty?

  8. Interesting Charles Kennedy appears to be doing a much better job than Jim Murphy in appealing to Unionist unity with one in three 2010 Cons and one in six 2010 Lab voters switching to him.

    Given this still leaves him 5% behind SNP this is a Pyrrhic victory. The reason for his decline is a full 33% of the 2010 Lib Dem vote switching directly to SNP.

    I have to say now I’m doubtful Lib Dems can hold anywhere except Orkney & Shetland. Would still like to see a poll for Berwickshire but given the SNP numbers in D&G and Dumfriesshire it has to be a probable SNP gain as well.

  9. @ Welsh Borderer,

    But why would this “coalition for Northern Social Democracy” hold together if the result of deposing Lab in Scotland was to re-install the Cons in Westminster, perhaps even as a majority Government ?

    How is it physically possible for the SNP to give the Conservatives a majority by taking over Scotland? If anything they’ve marginally reduced their odds by threatening Mundell, something Labour weren’t in a position to do. Taking out Charles Kennedy would also be useful for keeping the Tories out of office, and again, Labour weren’t in a position to do it.

    The only way the SNP can put Tories in power is by actually putting them in power. It’s not inconceivable that they might do this- they accepted their support in Holyrood in the last parliament, after all- but it will be really obvious and Scottish Labour (whatever is left of it) will broadcast it from every rooftop. Doing so will cost the SNP Couper’s vote and probably a lot of other people’s as well, so it’s something they’re going to be hesitant to do unless they get a spectacularly good payoff. It’s not going to happen by some kind of weird accident.

  10. @Candy

    “At least under the current system there is the illusion that everyone is equal”

    No there isn’t. Hence the current issues.

  11. The other things about these polls is that the SNP’s thousands of supporters now know exactly where they need to go campaign. They don’t even have to bother with Glasgow or Aberdeen, the targets are now Murphy, Mundell and Kennedy.

  12. @NS

    I understand that in the Ashcroft constituency polls the incumbent was not named. That may be a reason why CK was only in second place.

  13. Have we had an Orkney poll?

  14. Spearmint
    Yes, but the single pollee’s reply was unintelligible.

  15. WAnK just looks horrible for Lib Dems.

    3rd place, 19% behind SNP and barely 50% vote retention of those who are willing to admit they voted for you in 2010.

    Not at all good. By polling a solid 5% behind Con they can’t even appeal to Unionist unity to keep the SNP out.

  16. RAF

    I doubt that there are many voters in Ross, Skye & Lochaber who don’t know that Charlie is their MP! This isn’t an inner-city constituency.

  17. @ Pete B,

    Was it “Baaaaa”?

  18. @ Old Nat

    Well Scotland is done and dusted, in that the Ashcroft National poll (that I cannot make head or tail of) has 89% of voters in Scotland decided – so you can sit back and watch the English and Welsh have a scrap among themselves:

    Looking at Vale of Glamorgan the only Welsh seat in the Ashcroft set today:

    Conservative 38% (-3.1%)
    Labour 32% (-.9%)
    PC 12% (+6.5%)
    UKIP 10% (+6.9%)
    LD 4% (-11.2%)
    Green 4% (+2.1%)

    Plaid Cymru does better than UKIP, but it is unclear to me if they will gain any seats in Wales – from the point of view of trying to undertsand how many seats an anti-austerity block might gain overall.

    Next Norwich North:

    Labour 35% (+3.4%)
    Conservative 34% (-6.6%)
    UKIP 16% (+11.6%)
    Green 10% (+7.1%)
    LD 5% (-13.3%)

    Norwich South should go to Labour as well, but based on the split in the LD vote between Green and Labour I think Green are currently on 26% to Labour’s 33%, without factoring in any Labour loss to UKIP who may come 3rd ahead of the Conservatives because they appear to be picking up nearly as many votes from LD as Labour.

    High Peak:

    Labour 38% (+6.4%)
    Conservative 37% (-3.9%)
    UKIP 12% (+8.6%)
    Green 6% (+4.2%)
    LD 6% (-15.8%)

    This is a take back from Conservative.

    Colne Valley – wasn’t this a breakthrough seat for the Liberals under Jo Grimmond?

    Conservative 33% (-4%)
    Labour 32% (+5.6%)
    LD 12% (-14.4%)
    UKIP 11% (+8.9%)
    Green 10% (8.4%)
    Other 2% (-2.7%)

    I would be very interested to see how the Green Party are polling in Solihul where they hold 20% of the Council seats and came second in local government elections last year, and I now remember Norwich North is the weakest area of the City for Green where they now hold 38% of council seats to Labour’s 54%.

    I am also wondering where the LD voters are going to go in London, because if it breaks two to one to Green over Labour then expect to see Green come at least second in some London seats. They already beat Labour for third place in Sutton last year when the Conservatives took that council back from the LDs.

    So much for swingback, in that Ashcroft was polling at the very time YouGov were supposedly finding swingback had started. I am more than ever convinced weighting for 2010 is a crock.

  19. @Spearmint

    I was in Kirkwall last summer. Some informal anecdotal polling suggested the SNP were on the up. However, we were reliably informed that the temperature on Orkney is always within the same range all year (5C to
    15C). Indicative of people who don’t much like change.

    The puffins in the Pentland Firth couldn’t give a stuff either way.

  20. Yes jasper thought Milord salisbury made a persuasive tho slightly limited case for reform to keep the union together -abolish house of lords replace with national uk parliament which deals with non devolved issues ,everything else is devolved to individual parliaments (english meets at westminster)

    Dont think he said english parliament wouid be elected by pr and anything about devolving big bucks to city/regions either.Both are inevitable imo.

    On the scottish situ -well big gordie got that right -labour needed to run its own vote no campaign.Better together has done for big jim .

  21. Spearmint

    Andy S
    I don’t think too much should be made of polls two months before the election when the two leading parties are within 1% of each other.

  22. @Candy

    Federalism can take many forms. There’d be nothing to stop us institutionalising fiscal transfers, by reserving some tax powers for the UK government and then allocating the funds according to needs. It wouldn’t benefit Scotland especially, as it doesn’t have that many poor areas compared to parts of the rest of the UK, but it would provide a fair and solid basis for keeping all areas solvent.

  23. @Andy Shadrack

    You’d think on those sort of numbers there’s be a decent chance of Plaid taking Ceredigion.

    Interestingly Plaid have an English born candidate, Mike Parker, a journalist and writer who’s books I have read and enjoyed but until I looked up the Ceredigion candidates just now I had no idea he had any political connection to Plaid.

    He looks to be a candidate who could appeal to students and floating voters as well as the traditional Welsh speaking vote.

    Most UNS calculators won’t predict any change for Plaid based on national swing but that could be one to watch in May.

  24. The more I think about the size of this putative SNP landslide, the more I think it legitimises a Lab-SNP pact.

    If you have a separatist party with 20-30 seats, a unionist opposition could reasonably say “Oh, they’re just a destructive force, you shouldn’t encourage them by doing a deal with them.”

    But 50+ is a massive, massive mandate. I don’t really see how the Tories can say “It’s wrong to work with the elected representatives of the entire population of Scotland.” That just looks like English separatism. If Scotland has become this Quebec-esque entity that wants to represent itself with a regional party at Westminster, you can’t really argue that it ought to be shut out of the governance of the UK on that basis. That’s an argument for breaking up the union, and much as the Tories would probably be happy to be rid of Scotland I doubt they’ll want to make it.

  25. Regarding the ‘is Con VI moving’, please find below some control charts and analysis I referred to earlier today (YG only, 2015):

    I am convinced the data supports the claim.


    I owe you some more information. You asked a long time ago how CUSUM charts are measured as signifiacnt. I did some looking back today into my old six sigma course books, and I’d forgotten whole section.

    Essentially, a CUSUM chart is split into into zones of data broadly going one way. All the samples in each zone are reviewed for mean, and their 95% CI. Data sets with CI intervals that cross is normally not different.

    In the case above I used an ANOVA (one way). You could also use a T Test I suppose. That obviously produces a p number.

  26. @ Pete B

    Well you should have been in Canada in 1993 when the Progressive Conservatives melted down from 169 seats to 2.

  27. @Andy S
    I remember that event, but I don’t see the relevance. You gave figures for three seats where Lab and Con were within 1% of each other, 2 with Lab in the lead and 1 Con. I suppose I was trying to say that all of those seats could go either way.

    It all adds to the glorious uncertainty of this election.

  28. @Andy Shadrack:

    Actually some of the constituency polls were taken early February so why on earth have you stated they overlap with the period Yougov was showing swingback?


    I think if one starts with the simple fact that it’s been almost a year since the hated Bedroom Tax was scrapped in Scotland, which you evidently missed, one might suspect your analysis of Scottish politics is flawed. ;D

  30. Ashcroft’s national poll (8000 voters) has fieldwork between 20 to 27th Feb so not so ancient as somebody wrote earlier, in fact, not at all ancient.

    Only if one thinks there was a pro Con damascus moment over the last days, could it be fundamentally out of date..

  31. @Spearmint,

    I think Tory issues with the SNP joining a UK government are mainly around the governance of England, rather than excluding a particular party.

    My personal view is that the UK parliament should vacate Westminster to allow for the £3bn repair programme and move to Merseyside.

    Once Westminster is ready for occupation, legislation can be passed for an English parliament to occupy it, and the UK parliament can stay in the north in perpetuity…

  32. I forgot to add it was online, so that explains the difference with his Monday (phone) poll, I assume.

  33. @Bristolianhoward:

    But we have had an actual published Ashcroft national poll since then?

  34. UK parliament should obviously be at the NEC near Birmingham

  35. Neil A
    You consider Liverpool to be in the north? No Leeds is more genuinely central (probably Bradford would be a more unifying location). York would in some ways be better but a UK Parliament needs to sit in an unfashionable area. Come to think of it (and we have been thinking of you today chez H) perhaps Rotherham would be not a bad choice.

  36. JP – look at the fieldwork and polling method details.

  37. @ Spearmint

    The Conservatives in Canada prorogued Parliament in 2008 rather than let the Liberals and NDP (Labour) form a coalition, with the Quebec Nationalists providing C & S.

    Maybe the UK Conservatives are nicer than our Conservatives in Canada, who were after all taken over by a UKIP like party. Trying to retain political power can do strange things to some people :)

  38. @ Neil A,

    Really? Because I remember some Tory posters with Alex Salmond photoshopped hugging Ed Miliband and a tagline “Your worst nightmare just got worse”, which seems to suggest a general SNP-aversion rather than dry constitutional concerns about EVEL. David Cameron’s comments on the subject also lean in that direction, although it’s understandable that he would be unhappy about the prospect of an electoral pact that might cost him his job.

    I do agree that if EVEL is going to happen there will have to be two parliaments, although we still run up against the problem that a) the English don’t want to pay for two parliaments and b) the devolution settlements get weird if the UK parliament has no control over issues like healthcare, because they’re still the ones who set the overall budget for it.

  39. Andy Shadrack

    No one else is going to write to you so I will. Your references to Canadian issues makes me feel guilty that I have not followed them, so I will now do so.

    I don’t see that there are any lessons to be learned but perhaps you could explain a little more clearly why we should be interested.

    It’s clearer with the politics of neighbouring countries and I do see trends there that could have influence here. I suppose you could say that Canada is a neighbour – it’s only water between us I suppose. Rather a lot of it though..

  40. @ JP

    Well then the situation for LD is even worse, as they were doing better at the beginning of February. Ashcroft reported these polls out for March 4th and said he was doing the polling over the weekend – if you found evidence to the contrary I accept that.

    @ Pete B

    I am primarily looking at the meltdown of the LD and how that vote is scattering and the impact of UKIP. Yes the election has not really started and a lot can happen before the writ and after the writ is dropped, but at present there are far more seats at play in England than just the usual Labour-Conservative marginals.

    This is a non-standard election, but people keep referring to some standard methodical statistical formula (“swingback” and “squeeze”) and not taking into account that there are far more social scientific variables at play this time.

    I have been recently working on streamflow projections around climate change and we all thought about increased flows and low flows due to climate variability, but no one fully understood that extreme flows would actually take some water intakes out altogether. The same is true of this UK election and how to assess what might happen in terms of where some variables might push some voters.

    In 1997, in Canada for example, some traditional social democratic voters switched to Reform (UKIP) because they did not want the official opposition in parliament to be the Quebec Nationalists, who in their eyes were dedicated to breaking up the federation. I wonder if that might be a reaction that has not yet kicked in, in England.

  41. Andy S. Thanks for clarifying. I thought you were suggesting that the Cons might be wiped out. There will be some unanticipated results, that’s for sure. In England UKIP and Geens will definitely affect results even if they don’t win many seats.

    UKIP take votes from both Lab and Con, and the proportion of each will vary from place to place depending largely on local factors. They will also take some of the collapsing Lib vote and pull in some people who don’t usually vote.

    Greens will mainly get ex-Lab and Lib voters, and possibly previous non-voters.

    This is definitely the least predictable election since 1983 or even earlier.

  42. @peteB

    I don’t think 1983 was at all hard to predict.

  43. Have we a yougov tonight?

  44. Whilst there is no point in stating percentages to 0.1%, it is true that unrounded numbers should be used for calculating rolling averages, even if the final result is stated to the nearest whole number.

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