The YouGov/Sunday Times poll had some questions trying to tease out people’s perceptions of who has the best claim to be PM in a hung Parliament. This is, obviously, not necessarily the same thing as who will be. Much of the discussion I’ve seen on this has been at cross purposes – some people rightly saying that the leader who can command a majority in the Commons has the constitutional right to be PM, others saying that in circumstances X, Y or Z or with party A, B or C that may be seen as illegitimate. These two things are not contradictory – it is perfectly possible to have a situation where a leader has the perfect constitutional right to be Prime Minister, yet is seen as illegitimate by the public. If the study of public opinion tells you anything, it should be that public opinion is quite often wrong. A good example is Gordon Brown in 2010 – remaining as PM while negotiations took place was quite clearly his constitutional duty… but it didn’t stop him getting flak for “squatting” in Downing Street. Public opinion on the legitimacy of who becomes PM won’t make any difference to who gets the invite from the Palace, the maths will decide that, but it may make a difference to how that government is perceived by the public in the longer term.

On this front, by 47% to 26% of people think that the biggest party has the best claim to form a government, even if other parties collectively have more seats. If there is a difference between the party with the most seats and the most votes, by 43% to 29% people think it is votes that should matter.

Asked about whether parties should try to go it alone or form a coalition there is an interesting difference. Should the Conservatives find themselves the largest party then 58% of Tory voters think they should try to strike a deal with other parties to get a majority, 29% think they should try to go it alone. Should Labour find themselves the largest party the figures are much closer – 44% of their voters think they should try to strike a deal, 39% think they should try to go it alone. YouGov then asked what the other side should do in those circumstances… in both cases, the balance of public opinion is that oppositions should give a minority government a chance. If the Conservatives try to go it alone, 32% think the other parties should vote to bring them down, 40% think they should be given a chance. The figures are almost identical for a minority Labour government, 30% think the Tories should just vote them out, 39% that they should give them a chance.

The polling on all these questions will likely be transformed completely next week when the numbers are known and these questions become opinions on a Cameron government, a Miliband government or whatever, rather than hypothetical situations – these aren’t set in stone. I expect many respondents who say largest party should form the government might change their answer in the event largest party was X or Y. The point us how the parties behave next week, whether they are seen as being in the right and behaving in a responsible way will have an impact on the public’s perception of them.

Both the YouGov/Sunday Times poll and the Survation poll asked people who watched the Question Time leaders special earlier in the week who they thought had won – both found Cameron clearly ahead. YouGov had Cameron winning by 42% to Miliband’s 26% and Clegg’s 13%, Survation had Cameron winning on 38% to Miliband’s 24% and Clegg’s 9%.

As well as the YouGov/Sunday Times poll there was also a separate YouGov poll for the Sun on Sunday. This has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%, GRN 5% so is also bang in line with YouGov’s pattern the parties being roughly neck-and-neck. The poll included a question on people’s preferred coalition/deal which showed a very even split, the same as we’ve seen in many other polls – Con/LD 21%, Con/UKIP 18%, Lab/LD 20%, Lab/SNP 16%. However they also asked which coalition people think would be worst, which produced a much clearer result – Lab/SNP 39%, Con/UKIP 32%, Con/LD 6%, Lab/LD 4% – people fear the SNP and UKIP’s influence on government, the poor old Lib Dems are seen as quite benign.


1,586 Responses to “More from the Sunday polls”

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  1. MITZ

    Well I’m sure you’d never be boorish… triumphant might be allowed. :)

  2. The situation in NI is fairly static, and there’s no public polling done, so I think we ought to consider it beyond the UKPR prediction remit, which is about data-driven guesstimates. Belfast East may go from Alliance to DUP, Fermanagh and South Tyrone might go from SF to UUP, but [waves hands]. It’s like picking lottery numbers, not filling out a pools coupon.

  3. To ALLAN CHRISTIE

    Giffnock isn’t that part of East Renfrewshire.
    Crikey I had that down as a Lab seat – do you think it will go SNP?

  4. I am not collecting anymore peredictions tonight.

    The last i collected was made by BALBS.

    I will collect again tomorrow.

    :)

  5. Oops – sorry NI! May I revise my prediction?

    Labour 278
    Conservatives 276
    UKIP 2
    LIb Dems 25
    SNP 47
    Plaid Cymru 3
    Green 1
    NI 18
    Total 650

  6. The bookies are betting overwhelmingly that the Tories will win most seats in the GE:

    Tories: 1/6
    Labour: 4/1

    The spread betters are also currently predicting a 25 seat difference, 290-265, in favour of the Tories.

  7. Spearmint

    Even we don’t understand Scottish politics – so there’s not a hope in hell of anyone else doing so! :-)

  8. @catoswyn

    Here is my prediction

    Con 281
    Lab 268
    SNP 45
    LD 27
    DUP 8
    UKIP 7
    SF 4
    PC 3
    SDLP 3
    Alliance 2
    Ind 1
    Speaker 1

    Con + LD will form the next government. But it will fall within a year followed by fresh elections.

  9. Albert’s Nemesis
    Thanks for that. Interesting somment on SF.

  10. @ John B

    That blows my idea up in the water, I thought I remembered odd occasions where a non MP or Lord could be co-opted into the cabinet but I’m obviously mistaken.

    @ Hireton

    My mistake, I’d implement the recommendations from the report in full. Not intending to patronize anybody but I would still offer her an olive branch and be very honest doing it.

  11. @ Catoswyn

    Lab: 280
    Con: 270
    SNP: 50
    LibDem 24

  12. JOHN B

    ” My guess is that, seeing as there is no longer any heavy industry, the term ‘Labour’ is now redundant anyway. It’s just an historical left over…….
    Of course, this is all wild speculation. Apologies to you all, and especially to AW”
    __________

    Not so wild but even without heavy industry there is still a place for Labour in Scotland but they need to start acting like Labour.

  13. New commenter, but long-time reader. For the sake of full disclosure, I’m a Labour Party member and have always voted Labour.

    As predictions for the overall result seem to be the flavour of the evening, I’ll join in:

    Conservative: 282 (including Speaker)

    -Gains: 10 from the Liberal Democrats

    -Losses: 31 to Labour, 3 to UKIP, 1 to the SNP

    Labour: 258

    – Gains: 31 from the Conservatives, 9 from the Liberal Democrats

    [N.B. I’m counting Bradford West as a Labour Hold]

    – Losses: 40 to the SNP

    Liberal Democrats: 27

    – Gains: 0

    – Losses: 10 to the Conservatives, 9 to Labour, 1 to Plaid Cymru, 10 to the SNP

    Scottish National Party: 57

    – Gains: 40 from Labour, 10 from the Liberal Democrats, 1 from the Conservatives

    – Losses: 0

    UKIP:

    – Gains: 3 from the Conservatives (Thurrock, Thanet South and Clacton, for those wondering)

    Green: 1

    – Gains: 0

    – Losses: 0

    Plaid Cymru: 4

    – Gains: 1 from the Liberal Democrats (Ceredigion)

    – Losses: 0

    Northern Irish Parties: 18

    In Northern Ireland, I think the DUP will gain Belfast East, but otherwise it will be status quo ante.

    I hold no pretensions to expertise nor accuracy in making these predictions.

  14. MARK
    To ALLAN CHRISTIE
    Giffnock isn’t that part of East Renfrewshire.
    Crikey I had that down as a Lab seat – do you think it will go SNP?
    ________

    Yes it’s part of East Renfreshire and it like most of the rest of East Ren would be ripe Tory ground in England.

    The latest Ashcroft poll had the SNP just in front of Labour but I have a feeling Labour will hold the seat and the Tory vote squeezed.

    When Labour was collapsing all over Scotland in 2011 somehow their last leader managed to hold onto his seat…………….just!!

  15. Ballot Monkeys this shoe is just brilliant, if you’re not watching it you really have to.

  16. Something I have noticed in the posts to Catoswyn – almost everybodies’ predictions look plausible in the past hour – and many vary quite a bit!

    Just goes to show how unpredictable it really is I suppose?

    @Richard – yours interested me particularly as I notice you predict 7 for UKIP! I could count a likely 3 (Clacton, Thurrock, Thanet South). Which further 4 seats do you reckon might be UKIP wins?

  17. Shoe=show damn auto correct

  18. Welcome Brumble! I share your politics but really do appreciate your non-partisan influenced prediction of the Conservatives doing much better than Labour in the seats tally. I don’t predict the same – but your objectivity makes you a very welcome addition to UKPR!

  19. BANTAMS – There is no requirement for a Cabinet Minister or even the PM to be an MP. It is custom (not rule) that the PM is the leader of the biggest party and an MP but only custom and nothing more. Alec Douglas Home wasn’t an MP when he was appointed PM in 1963. We have also PM who didn’t come from the largest party. In fact, believe it or not, there is no requirement or obligation to have a PM.

    Similarly the PM does not have to be British, nor protestant, nor even christian. Contrary to the rubbish on far-Right sites.

    Government is by appointment. Parliament is by election. Legally there is no restriction on who can be prime minister, the Queen can appoint whomever she likes to the office or no-one at all.

  20. If the two obvious groupings (Con + LD etc and Labour + SNP etc) end up with very nearly the same number of seats, the ‘winner’ is not going to have an easy time, and may not keep their original (group) majority for long because of bye-election losses and even defections. In that case, is it possible that it would suit the LibDems to declare themselves neutral, in that they would abstain on any confidence votes? They could take the moral high ground by saying that it was to allow a relatively stable government (as the Labour-led grouping would then have workable majority, and take advantage of not being too closely associated with either the government or the opposition to try to rebuild their party’s support. Would this be more likely if Clegg is no longer their leader?

  21. And the same is true of Cabinet Minsters.

  22. I’m so hopeless at this (even for elections here in NZ which are ten times easier to predict). Anyway, here’s my GB guess:

    Con 284
    Lab 264
    SNP 50
    LD 24
    PC 4
    UKIP 3
    Green 1
    Respect 1
    Speaker 1

  23. I can’t believe everyone is posting their “final” predictions without the final YG Nowcast (and my analysis of it, though as usual I may not get time for that until next weekend!) .

  24. @Tony Dean

    Thank you, that’s very kind. Naturally, my preferred outcome for the 8th May would read something like:

    Labour: 410

    Conservative: 207

    Liberal Democrats: 1 – Let’s leave them something

    SNP: 10 – wouldn’t mind them winning Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweedale, plus Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

    Plaid Cymru: 4 – they can have Ceredigion

    Northern Irish parties: 18

    One can always dream!

  25. New thread

  26. I don’t know about anyone else, but there are so many unknowns that I just went on gut feel (apart from NI where I copied someone).

  27. By convention all cabinet posts must be held by members of parliament (HOC or HOL) no? With no constitution convention is all we have – the lack of statuary law is not relevant.

  28. New Thread……

  29. Ministers don’t have to be a member of either House of Parliament. Frank Gordon Walker was Harold Wilson’s first Foreign Secretary even though he lost his seat of Smethwick at the 1964 General Election.

  30. DS – That is exactly the point. It is convention – ie custom, not law or codified practice. And it has been ignored in living memory.

  31. 33 each

  32. @Bantams

    Thank you for being so nice regarding the olive branch.

  33. DS – That is exactly the point. It is convention – ie custom, not law or codified practice. And it has been ignored in the past particularly in times of national crisis.

    One of the pleasures and advantages of no Constitution is that it is impossible to have a constitutional crisis.

  34. The author will forgive me:

    Assumingthe the Conservative +LD and Labor votes split 34/3/10% votes Labor would would win there by 20seats y will not happen. just the opposite) and as your prediction shows all the other together will have about 60 of which 50 to be SNP , rabidly anti-Labor and therefore leading to a 30 or 40 seat CON advantage there, there is no way that Labor and the left can winn the Commons.

    So all the palaber of of a narrow election as it was, even more justfiable, in Scotlands plebiscit, the usual manipulation of the Media to create emotion were there is not and so produce more money for the latter. Reminds me of the “surprise” when MAJOR won his election many years ago. In this time, when there was no significan nor cocentrated 3rd party, the oposition had still a small chance, not now with a the main ones neck to neck and the rightist localist SNP!!

    Even more so becaus the votes lost be Cameron, mostly to the SNP seat-wise, will be available for the conservative Government with or without a coalition for any dangerous vote. And if you look at your own prognose, this happens this would enerate another palaver : even a minority goverment of the Conservative Government, however inconvenient, could be thinkable

    The would have more than 45% ofthe votes in the Commons assured!

    I am not an UK resident but know my mathematics. with jointly with the UK electoral system and a very few facts regarding the political parties is all what is needed!

    So, I dare tothrow in my two pennies T:he seats in the Commons f or Tories and Labor will remain more or less as tey are know., buried under a barrage of babbling!! But of course: this being contigent that the voter count will remain not very fa rfrom 50/50 and in the same percentual magnitude as nearly unanimously forecasted

    Sorry for the bad English and the mistakes.

  35. ENTRIES TO THE PREDICTION GAME:

    ABERDABERDOO
    ABERDEENANGUS
    ADAMB
    ALAN LAIRD
    ALEKSANDAR
    ALIENFROMZOG
    ALISTER1948
    ANARCHISTSUNITE
    ANDY SHADRACK
    ANDYO
    ASHMAN
    ASSIDUOSITY
    AW
    BALBS
    BANTAMS
    BARBAZANZERO
    BARNABY MARDER
    BARNEY
    BARREL
    BIGD
    BIGFATRON
    BLUEBOB
    BM11
    BRIAN
    BRIAN NICHOLSON
    BRIAN Q
    BRUMBLE
    BT SAYS…
    BUBHUBBLEBUB
    BWM
    CASCLC
    CHARLES STUART
    CHRIS HORNET
    CHRISLANE1945
    CHRISSY
    CLOUDSPOTTER
    CODEX
    CONFIRMATION BIAS
    COUPER2802
    COVER DRIVE
    CRISPYBACON
    DAIBACH
    DAIJONES
    DAN
    DANB
    DAVE M
    DAVEM
    DAVID IN FRANCE
    DAVID K
    DCON
    DOBSSI
    DRMIBBLES
    DS
    DUNHAM111
    EDGEOFREASON
    EXILE IN YORKS
    FLAGONSDRY
    FOOLBERRY
    FUNTYPIPPIN
    GARY 0
    GARY GATTER
    GAZZA
    GEOFF
    GEORGE FAUX
    GRAEME
    GUYMONDE
    HARDLEFT
    HAWTHORN
    HEATHER PETO
    INWB
    JACK SHELDON
    JAMES
    JEFF T
    JIM JAM
    JOHN HOLMES
    JOHN SMITH
    KAM
    KARL
    KEITHP
    KEN
    LAGAVULIN
    LASZLO
    LEWIS
    LITTLE RED ROCK
    LMZ
    LOUISWALSHVOTESGREEN
    MAGPIE
    MANINTHEMIDDLE
    MARC KERSTEN
    MARK
    MARTYN
    MATT IN BRISTOL
    MATT IN MUNICH
    MATT M
    MATTHEW G
    MAX PARR-REID
    MICHAEL
    MICHAEL ELLIOTT
    MICHAEL SIVA
    MIKEN
    MIKEY
    MILLIE
    MILLIE MAY FORCAST
    MISERABLE OLD GIT
    MISSGLENGHIS
    MITZ
    MORFSKY
    MRECHIDNA
    NDREW111
    NEIL A
    NEILJ
    NEWFORESTRADICAL
    NMIDLANDER
    NORBOLD
    NORTHUMBRIANSCOT
    OBERTA
    OBSERVER
    OLD NAT
    OMNISHAMBLES
    PA3YRE
    PATRICK J
    PAUL MID BEDS
    PAUL ROCHESTER AND STROOD
    PEBBLE
    PERSICUM
    PETE
    PETE B
    PETER BELL
    PHIL HAINES
    PINGUPPOLITICS
    POLITICAL MONKEY
    POPEYE
    POSTAGEINCLUDED
    PROFHOWARD
    R00K13
    RAF
    RD2012
    REALIST
    REGGIESIDE
    RHYWUN
    RICH
    RICH W
    RICHARD
    RICHARD1
    RIVERS10
    RMJ1
    ROB SHEFFIELD
    ROBERT NEWARK
    ROGER MEXICO
    ROGERREBEL
    RORY HUGHES
    SAFETORYSEAT
    SALTNSAUCE
    SHELTS
    SHEVII
    SIMON K
    SINE NOMINE
    SMITHY
    SOMERJOHN
    STANVAX
    STATGEEK
    STATTO
    STEVE
    STEVEDMP15
    SUFFOLK JASON
    SUNREADA
    SVEN HASSEL SCMUCK
    SWAMPMONGREL
    T T
    TARK
    THE MONK
    THURROCKMARK
    TIM N
    TINGEDFRINGE 1
    TINGEDFRINGE 2
    TOBY
    TOBYTRONICSTEREOPHONIC
    TONY CORNWALL
    TONY DEAN
    UNICORN
    V LENTHAN
    VALERIE
    VIONN
    VIRGILIO
    WES
    WOOD
    WOODY
    PETER CAIRNS (SNP)
    RORY

  36. EVERYONE:

    There were 189 predictions received between the 2nd and 6th May 2015.

    The mean average prediction from UKPR thread participants aka the definitive forecast for the general election 2015 from poll watchers aka the wisdom of this particular crowd is;

    LAB 272
    CON 279
    SNP 48
    LIB DEM 25
    PLAID CYMRU 3
    UKIP 3
    GREEN 1
    INDEPENDENT 1
    RESPECT 1
    DUP 9
    SINN FEIN 5
    SDLP 3
    ALLIANCE 1
    UUP 1

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