YouGov April Poll

As well as the Scottish poll today also saw the publication of YouGov’s monthly GB poll. The topline figures with changes from their last poll are CON 37%(-2), LAB 32%(+1), LDEM 18%(+1). The changes in this poll alone are insignificant, but the drop in Conservative support does match ICM’s poll in the week, as does the Lib Dem increase (though it is obviously at a much lower level).

We’ll probably never find out for sure if there is a genuine weakening in Tory support, since unless there are any polls in the Sunday papers this is probably the final voting intention poll before the local elections, after which comes the deluge! Local, Scottish and Welsh elections results will themselves likely have an effect upon the polls as some parties are seen as “winners” as some as “losers”. More importantly the elections are widely expected to be quickly followed by Tony Blair’s resignation, which will change the whole landscape of British politics.

24 Responses to “YouGov April Poll”

  1. It took a while to find the actual Yougov monthly voting intention figures on the Telegraph’s site.After I’d got through all hyperbole about ‘Labour disasters’ I finally found a slight dip in Tory support in the monthly figures.Surely voters have already factored in Brown as PM so the increased Tory lead with Brown as PM is a bit suspect?

  2. The forced choice between cameron and brown was 45-35%, giving cameron a 10 point lead, hence the disasters headlines.

    Also, I am surprised this site has overlooked the Newsnight analysis from Plymouth University, which is predicting the following:

    Con 38% (-2) +330
    Lab 24% (-2) -500
    LD 29% (+2) +110

    I know they were massively wrong last year, but it should be discussed I think. It would be rather disappointing for the Conservative Party, but utterly disastrous for Labour as such a result would take them lower than the Tory defeat of 1995 when they got 25%.

  3. Well it isn’t a poll Harry, so technically it’s outside my remit :)
    Actually I expect I’ll put up a local election post before Thursday though even if there aren’t any polls on it (which normally there aren’t).

  4. I’d like to know the logic for their saying the Tory vote would fall.

  5. The Conservatives will perform well in all of the Shire councils (although their may be a few losses in the North East). If they win at least one councillor in each of the cities where they currently have no councillors they will have done a good job.

    They will do well in Wales and come out with 16 seats whereas in Scotland I reckon they will get around 16 too.

    The Lib-Dems will make moderate gains in Scotland and in England and would estimate around 80.

    Big Labour losses of 550 seats I would imagine.

  6. Whilst the Tory lead in the last few polls shows little change their share of the vote seems to have drifted back to where it was earlier this year and You Gov confirm this. It may continue to go up and down within the 37 to 41 % bracket until Brown has settled in although I suppose the perceived outcome of the May elections will have some effect on fortunes. People like to back a winner. Labour remain in real trouble that much is clear. It is the fate of the LIb Dem vote which is interesting. I suspect that what the polls are telling us is that there are a group of floating voters who went for the Lib Dems in May 2005 but have been flirting with the Tories ever since Cameron was elected the following December. Unfortunately for the Lib Dems the mere mention of Brown’s name seems to drive these voters to the right and there is little they can do about that. They may be the real victims of Brown’s unpopularity.

  7. The slight problem with the Plymouth figures – which are usually pretty accurate – is that there has been a steep decline in the number of council by-elections over the past six or so months; and even fewer where all three parties have contested the seats – the basis for the analysis. Michael Crick claimed the survey included “about fifty or so” – without trawling through six months’ worth of figures that sounds at the (very) high end, and with all by-elections included.

    So if such studies actually had margins of error, this survey would have quite a large one.

    That said, the figures sound plausible; though Labour is usually understated by 2% or so in these polls and the Lib Dems overstated.

    Philip – not sure what the change figures relate to either because the Tory share in 2003 was 31.5% across all authorities in England, Scotland and Wales (34.6% in England alone).

    For information according to the Local Elections Handbook, the 2003 GB shares were:

    Con 31.5
    Lab 27.9
    LD 24.2
    Ind 7.4
    Green 1.6
    SNP 3.8
    Other 3.6

  8. Anthony,

    do one for Scotland while your at it so we can all post our predictions before the result on Thursday/Friday.


  9. the libs may do ok in the council elections but historically when the tories are more popular and have a popular leader,as with the case now,they will be in trouble come the westminster elections.

    they will ditch ming,after westminster or sooner if the council elections are poor and with one of their righter wing mps try to rebuild.this will be tricky,as it may alienate their soft left mps,as is the case with the right wing of the tories not liking david cameron.
    good luck to them but their good times are over.

  10. If this turns out to be the last YouGov poll published under Blair’s leadership, I think he’d probably be not too unhappy with it. A 5% deficit after 10 years in power is probably slightly better than one might expect for the average government after that time in office.

  11. the elections will be what people remember, and that is likely to be a 10-15 point Tory lead in England and loss of control of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. Not a good way to go, ironic since blair has desperately tried to find a legacy.

    John Major made a very interesting, but when one thinks about it rather obvious, point. He said Tony blair and the Labour Party are two quite different entities. What direction will Labour take once blair has gone? Even more interesting is what will they be like in 2 or 3 years in opposition? I suspect it will take a long time for us to return to regular intervals of government change as in the 1960s and 1970s.

  12. Harry Scott-Parker – Plymouth Analysis

    Interesting statistical question as to what is required to be statistically significant in analysing b-election results. The total number of votes clearly is – and if you rely on vote change from last time rather than totals, then “bias” can be accounted for. The interesting part is the extent to which each vote can be regarded as an independent variable. Campaign differences will tend to shift (or hold on to) clumps of votes.

    What was the prediction from Plymouth last year that was so “wrong”. I don’t recall seeing it.

  13. Malcolm-

    The 2006 Plymouth analysis was as follows:

    Con 33% (-4) -95
    Lab 28% (+2) -130
    LD 29% (+2) +190

    Of course, their prediction was completely wrong in every sense as the real result was:

    Con 40% (+3) +316
    Lab 26% (nc) -319
    LD 27% (nc) +2

  14. Very interesting point from Harry Scott-Parker above.
    Some of it does ring a bell but I hadn’t realilsed it was Plymouth analysis re 2006 Locals .

    Andy Stidwill is wrong yet again – in fact in May 1989 the Tory government polled 38% in the local elections compared to around 40% for Labour.
    The Lib Dems were on single figures in the polls and reached 18% in the locals – as they normally will do better in those.
    I don’t have the figures for 1961 – 10 years into government.

    But it looks like Labour’s ratings [at presnt – not saying it’s definitely going to continue] are definitely poor by any standards at present, particularly if the Tories go above 40% on Thursday.
    Anyway, we’ll soon now.

  15. Hi – I’m a newcomer to this comments forum.
    I’ve looked more closely at the findings of the YouGov poll in terms of the regions from their website, and have compared them with the actual vote at the last general election. The swings from Labour to Conservative are as follows;

    London: 12%
    The Rest of the South: 5%
    Midlands/Wales: 7%
    North: 3%
    Scotland: 7% (mostly due to the SNP rise)

    It will be interesting to see if these figures match the local elections next month.

  16. JJB, I was referring to opinion polls, not the projected share from local elections.

    The interesting thing about the 1989 opinion polls is that until May that year, the 2 main parties were fairly level; but from June onwards, the Labour party had a lead of close to 10%, which continued to be fairly large until John Major replaced Thatcher in November 1990.

    Therefore, I was slightly wrong in what I said, since things started to go wrong for the previous Tory government after 10 years and 1 month, not 10 years exactly.

  17. When considering the Plymouth analysis from last year, it’s worth remembering that after R&T had made their predictions Labour was suddenly embroiled in the foreign prisoner release scandal, Prescott’s affair and Patricia Hewitt saying it was the best year ever for the NHS. If all those things hadn’t combined together in the last fortnight of the election campaign then perhaps R&T’s prediction would have been more accurate. As it is, you can hardly blame them for not predicting it!

  18. JJB, I don’t have the figures for the 1961 local elections either, but a Gallup poll was showing Tories 44.5%, Labour 40.5%, Liberals 14%.
    Labour didn’t overtake the Tories until August of that year, but they still managed to narrowly win the 1964 general election.

  19. Andy Stidwell,I can distinctly remember local election night 1989.
    The BBC poll was stated to represent a swing of 8% from 1987-as the Tories won by 11.8% in 1987,this would have meant a Labour lead of 4%.Also,I remember the extroploation into 12 marginal seats the BBC used that night (at that stage they did not go throuhgout every seat on a computer)- the result would have been a Labour overall majority of 4,with Southampton Test,30 miles from me in Bournemouth going from Tory-Labour.
    Even as an 18 year-old student,full of naive optimism,I was underwhelmed (as a Labour supporter),that the outcome would be so modest.
    I wil be extroplating this Thursday night with keen fervour,using the excellent updated boundaries/marginaols links on this site!
    (As a Labourite,I feel excused to planning to having a bottle of spirits ready to steady my nerves as the inevitable Labour pounding occurs! lol )

  20. In response to Anthony Wells, the Plymouth analyses are not based on things like that, merely recent council by-election results, so I would have to disagree with you on the Prescott scandal affecting their analysis. However, I do think their prediction this year is pretty sound, last year I fell off my chair laughing at it so that’s something at least.