This week Phil Cowley at Queen Mary University of London released some new YouGov polling of London. Topline voting intention figures for London are CON 34%(-1), LAB 37%(-7), LDEM 14%(+6), UKIP 9%(+1) – changes are since the general election in 2015.

The most useful way to interpret regional voting intention polls is to see whether it is behaving similarly or differently to the country as whole. Does it suggest that any change in support is the much the same as everywhere else, or does it show a party is doing better or worse than in other parts of the country? There is often an assumption that London is the core of Jeremy Corbyn’s support and that’s where Labour will being doing best. In fact the polling suggests Labour are doing about as well in London as elsewhere. YouGov’s GB polls tend to show Labour at around 25%, down six points since the general election. This poll suggests a very similar seven point drop for Labour in London.

The more interesting figures are the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Across the country as a whole the Conservatives have gained support since the general election, but this poll suggests that’s not reflected in London. Equally, while many national polls suggest an improvement for the Lib Dems since 2015, it’s not as much as the six point increase this poll suggests has taken place in London. It’s not particularly surprising to find the Conservatives doing worse and the Lib Dems doing better in the one region of England that voted to remain in the European Union, but it’s nice to have evidence to actually back it up.

Full tabs are here.


294 Responses to “YouGov/QMUL poll of London”

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  1. AC: I can honestly say having lived in Scotland for 12 years and now living back in England, there is nothing superior about the English from a Scottish perspective.”

    Indeed. There’s nothing like living outside England for a bit to lend perspective to our national self-delusions.

  2. Somerjohn @ AC

    “There’s nothing like living outside England for a bit to lend perspective to our national self-delusions.”

    Hah! The arrogant assumption that only you have national self-delusions!

    We have lots of them too. :-)

  3. SOMERJOHN

    Totally agree….

    OLDNAT…

    :-) :-)

  4. @somerjohn:

    Where you are in Spain, do the beggars hold up cards beginning with “Soy espanol”? Then relate how they were made employed, how their benefits ran out, how they have children? Do they do the thing where they on their knees, heads lowered?

    Because, in my wife’s home city, there are more of them every time we visit. The place is in a bad way. We all know economic growth indicators can tell a story divorced from reality – has been doing so it n the UK for years.

  5. This whole brouhaha reminds me of Yes Minister’s “6 Diplomatic Options”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3zNCg55kiw&t=75s

  6. Oldnat: “The arrogant assumption that only you have national self-delusions!”

    Ah, well, respecting the admirable spirit of pedantry that keeps us all on the straight and narrow, I should perhaps ask you to reference the point at which I assumed that only the English have self-delusions. And maybe also ask why you assume I’m English (though, actually, your assumption is 50% justified).

    However, I prefer to acknowledge the alternative spirit of gentle self-mockery that informed your comment, and so salute your lack of the nationalist bombast so evident recently!

  7. Rawlings and Thrasher are normally fairly close for Tories and Labour, but over-optimistic for LDems (by 3% on average) according to some analysis I saw earlier (I can’t remember where and can’t find it again – apologies!)

    I would expect Tories to do a bit better than this implies, all of LDems, Labour and UKIP a bit worse, and also for Independents and Residents to have good year.

    Solid gains for Tories, LDems and Independents, losses for Labour and UKIP IMHO…

    @AC – I agree completely about your thoughts Ldem prospects for the locals (there’s a first!)

  8. Interesting (to me) to see that in the national poll quoted by AC, UKIP VI is holding up despite their recent chaos and loss of Farage. Of course it’s unlikely to lead to lead to any seat gains, but at 10/11/12% they can still have influence, particularly in Tory/Labour marginals.

  9. Joseph1832: “Where you are in Spain, do the beggars hold up cards beginning with “Soy espanol”? ”

    Nope. There’s a Romanian lady who hangs around outside Lidl, and there’s a Brit who has a more-or-less permanent post outside another shopping centre. But this morning he was smoking a cigar as he chatted to the (Spanish) street cleaner so I guess things are looking up for him too.

    I think I remember you referring to Galicia or Asturias before, which I guess is Spain’s equivalent to Sunderland or Michigan. My bit is more akin to California.

  10. @Joseph1832
    I don’t know about Spain, but the number of beggars on my route to work in London each day has increased steadily since 2010.

    I suspect both your and my anecdotes tell us something about the situation of the respective countries, but by no means convey a full picture…

  11. @Alan Christie

    “Mike Smithson? @MSmithsonPB 24h24 hours ago
    More
    Full Rallings & Thrasher forecast national equivalent vote compared with 2013 is Con 31% (+5), Lab 29% (nc), LD 22% (+9) UKIP 10% (-12).
    And as we can see, what is happening at local level doesn’t seem to be translating into the same sort of juicy VI for the LibDems nationally.
    Not bad for the Tories, Labour flatlining and UKIP imploding..”

    I really do not understand you. This is forecast is precisely what I posted yesterday, soon after it was published by Br Elects – which you rubbished as a “poll” which cannot be trusted. But it’s not a poll – but an academic forecast, based on actual local election results.

    You go on to say “So, it just goes to show local elections can’t be used as a barometer for what is happening nationally..This poll confirms this”

    But that is precisely what Rallings and Thrasher have done, here. They have used the results of local elections to produce a forecast for May, just as they have done every year, for some time past.

  12. It will be interesting to see how the polling on the Government’s handling of Brexit.goes now that Article 50 has been triggered and the necessary negotiating compromises become more evident. It seems unlikely to me that this artificial froth around Gibraltar will have much if any long term impact except amongst some of the more ardent British nationalists.

    IIRC correctly both YouGov and Opinium have showed a fairly narrow spread between approve and disapprove overall. Will that now change as reality kicks in for both leavers and remainers?

  13. Latest polls continue to show a picture of Tories slightly off their highs but cruising very comfortably, Labour flat-lining in disaster territory, LDems improving but ever so slowly, UKIP slowly declining…

    Running average of last ten:
    Con 42.4%
    Lab 26.4%
    UKIP 10.4%
    LDem 10.2%
    Other 10.6%

    Average of the most recent poll from the five large pollsters:
    Con 42.7%
    Lab 26.6%
    UKIP 10.0%
    LDem 11.0%
    Other 9.3%

    Cross-over getting closer….?

  14. I agree totally with S Thomas, leave indeed did win 52/48.

  15. Today’s Guardian ICM poll is interesting in that it shows more resistance amongst those polled to the payment of a significant exit bill by the UK than maintaining free movement of people for a transitional period and then giving EU citizens preferential treatment in future immigration over those from other parts of the world (both of which have positive approval ratings)

  16. BIGFATRON

    I had just finished working out those figures when you posted them. Looking at the Greens, they seem to be flatlining when I would have expected them to pick up some votes from disilusioned Labour supporters.

    Crossover is tediously slow. If there are significant LD gains in the locals coupled with UKIP losses then the process may speed up.

  17. Gibraltar

    Glad to see all posters have stopped winding each other up about this. it was amusing to begin with even within my Anglo-Spanish family but it always was a proxy war. No one IMHO is really upset with the spanish and all is faux outrage on both sides.I have posted some weeks ago about Gibraltar and ..ahem.. i was not exactly on the poop deck with Captain Howard with my views

    however,i think there is a saluatory lesson for both sides of the argument. For those like Danny who believe that Brexit is all bobby Ewings shower sequence and everything will be as it was come 2 years time and that the UK will return a chastened nation to the EU fold ,it is a lesson in how bitter and unforgiving this can become and the unlikelyhood of that scenario. On the other side it is a lesson for TM in the narrow line she walks and how careful she will have to be when other compromises have to be made and sold to the nation.

  18. ICM on their latest poll

    https://www.icmunlimited.com/polls/#listing

    >Six possible positions were put to the British public, to see what they might be willing to relent on during the two-year process.

    “Not much” is the answer, particularly not cold, hard cash.

    Exit payments of £50b have been bandied about by Michael Barnier, chief negotiator for Brussels, but any UK capitulation on money likely won’t wash with hard-pressed British taxpayer. In fact, only one in ten (10%) are prepared to accept payments equating to less than half of that (£20 billion). One in seven (15%) would stretch to a £10b payment, with a third (33%) prepared to accept a fractional £3 billion in compensation for commitments made by the EU when the UK was a member.

    In case the EU thinks it can divide and conquer, only a single voting sub-group reaches majority support for the £3 billion payment – Lib Dem Remainers (53%) – although Labour Remainers (49%) and the few Liberal Democrat Leavers (49%) nearly join them in the ranks who would find such a payment acceptable.

    When it comes to a £10 billion or indeed a £20 billion exit fee – never mind more than that, the British public appear minded to offer the EU some kind of Chuchillian two-fingered gesture.

    However, other compromises might be in play. Continued but temporary freedom of movement in exchange for a transitional deal that eases the burden of leaving the single market would be acceptable to a majority of people (54%), with all but UKIP voters behind this idea. Leavers (35%) are understandably also less willing.

    Giving preferential treatment to EU citizens who want to come to live and work here over non-EU migrants might also be positively received by the British public, with 48% finding it acceptable (28% unacceptable), but continuing to obey EU Courts of Justice rulings for a few years after Brexit is another compromise that might make the British bristle (34% vs 47%).

  19. Sorry. Mistyped the HTML

    Everything after the link is a quote.

  20. @BFR

    Thanks for posting those averages. It’s easy, but also misleading, to get excited by movements in single polls. Of the two sets you present, I prefer to use the second – using just the most recent from each of the major posters (taking all the most recent gives too much weight to Yougov, who publish more frequently).

    So on that basis, you have

    “Average of the most recent poll from the five large pollsters:
    Con 42.7%
    Lab 26.6%
    UKIP 10.0%
    LDem 11.0%
    Other 9.3%”

    And from that, LD/UKIP crossover has already arrived.

  21. “Glad to see all posters have stopped winding each other up about this. it was amusing to begin with even within my Anglo-Spanish family but it always was a proxy war. No one IMHO is really upset with the spanish and all is faux outrage on both sides.”

    Also glad to see sense prevail, but to be sure, on one side it wasn’t so much faux outrage, but merely bafflement at the response to a completely expected issue.

  22. @OLDNAT

    Who careds what ‘the people’ would pay? They are not the government. Only the government will make the agreement with the EU, the plebeian masses.

  23. @OLDNAT

    Sorry – I meant NOT the plebeian masses.

  24. Peter Cairns

    Re: Unintended consequences.

    Look at the consequences of the US embargo on oil exports in WW2. I’m sure the US believed it would lead to capitulation by Japan within 2 years. Instead Japan took what it saw as its forced move, one which the US probably discounted as impossible instead was inevitable.

    It’s normally only with hindsight and looking at things from both sides can we normally only understand why events played out the way they did.

  25. Tancred

    Agreed about the pointlessness of the ICM questions.

    The actual format was You may have seen or heard that the government triggered Article 50 this week, which begins the negotiation process necessary for the UK to leave the European Union. There have been suggestions that the Prime Minister, Theresa May, and her negotiating team will have to make some compromises during the Brexit negotiations. Do you think it would be acceptable or unacceptable for the UK to compromise in the following ways? – Paying an ‘exit fee’ of up to £xbn, as a one of [sic] or in instalments, as the UK’s contributions to spending commitments made by the EU when the UK was a member.

  26. Fascinating poll about Brexit payment options.

    Not very surprising that people don’t want to pay much, as the option of not paying doesn’t really seem to have been discussed.

    Not paying and not getting a trade deal is the real option, and in due course more and more people will start to understand this.

  27. Jasper22,

    ““ treat the French the same as the Saudis, the same as the Mexicans.”

    Let them buy up London on the cheap!

    Peter.

  28. @Alec: “Not very surprising that people don’t want to pay much, as the option of not paying doesn’t really seem to have been discussed.”

    Another subject on which Remainers have taken leave of their critical functions…

    I entirely agree that we should pay for pension liabilities accrued over our membership. Insofar as there is such a thing as the EU “national debt”, I agree. But by the same token, there is the question of the assets. We should stand on the point that, legally, the EU pension scheme is paid from current budget, and the budget no longer legally applies to us as of 29 March 2019.

    But when they talk of “commitments”, they are talking about us being liable for things they plan to spend money on. That is quite different. If they lose part of their tax base, they must spend less. If a net recipient left, they’d not continue paying them – they’d adjust their budget. They have two years to make adjustments – and that is what they should do. If they choose not to, that is their choice.

    But what is really odd is thinking we can pay £50bn (or whatever figure they demand) in return for which they MAY agree us a transitional trade deal (expect a bill for that), after which they MAY agree a trade deal (expect a bill for that), during which time they use uncertainty over our position to try to extract business from the UK. That is the best case scenario. In reality, we’ll have told them they can demand anything and we give them anything.

    If those are the Remainers approach to negotiating, they should state that in terms. There is a difference between fearing the worst and embracing it at the very start.

  29. Interesting discussion on the News Channel between the British and Spanish Ambassadors over the issue of Gibraltar!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=r3BO6GP9NMY

    Peter.

  30. Joseph1832,

    We can argue over the figure but if you take out joint loans or a mortgage and get a divorce, regardless of the settlement the bank will still want it’s money back and you’ll legally have to pay your share.

    Peter.

  31. OLDNAT

    “So sad that decent folk like TOH have such unpleasant people sharing their platform.”

    That’s a bit harsh, particularly in light of the fact that you posited that I was a ‘fool’ in our first exchange, then in a later message you accused me of ‘forming opinions based on my ignorance and prejudices’… then you suggested that ‘the real world is a place I should visit sometime’.

    Now you say it’s ‘unlikely that I am actually stupid.’ I suppose I should be grateful for small mercies so thanks for that, but it’s still quite unsettling that the only possible explanation you can think of for my being opposed to you must be that I am ‘a horrible person’.

  32. Regarding the local election predictions.

    The predicted loss of 50 Labour seats looks quite modest to me.

    I haven’t crunched the numbers, but the following the big gains four years ago, I think losing only 50 would be at the better end of expectations if I was trying to come up with number. I suspect 100+ loses is more likely.

  33. I don’t suppose R&T came up with predictions for Scotland.
    I did try and find them but came up empty.

    Peter.

  34. There are 4 local by-elections in England this Thursday, 2 UKIP, 1 LibDem and 1 Con. Though of course they won’t be an accurate guide to the forthcoming mass local elections, there might be some interesting discussion points. One of the UKIP ones is in Carswell’s seat for instance.

  35. @Peter Cairn

    Doesn’t the multidimensional system make such predictions just too hard?

  36. Please everyone – do look at the link @peter cairns provides in his 7.18pm post.

    From a trade treaty to WAR! in 4 minutes.

    Chris Morris at his best.

  37. Gybe Ho!
    I am fed up readiing posts about a very small country, inhabited by delusionals, which voted Remain and which hates its neighbour , has no idea how dependant it is on the Uk and wants special treatment under Brexit…..but enough of scotland

  38. Peter Cairns

    on nuclear deterrence

    I happen to be in the other army (twice) in the relevant period – the assumptions were the same as that of Kissingers’ on the other side, so you either hoped for some rationality, or prepare for the worse (in case of a nuclear strike, use a white sheet and crawl slowly towards the nearest cemetery (jolly nice when Poland just declared emergency, and you are getting on a train that supposedly takes you to a military exercise (it did).

    Oddly :-) it was always NATO that attacked in these games.

    However, while the Soviet doctrine didn’t exclude battle ground nuclear weapons, it assumed that long and medium range missiles wouldn’t be used (as the plan assumed that it would take about 36 hours to bring up the main land forces and about a week to take Western Europe – as I said after a NATO attack :-). The 6th Hungarian Army would have been wiped out, but the NATO forces would have been stopped by the River Danube before the counter attack). One of the oddities of all this is that the “secret plans” actually corresponded to what the soldiers were told.

  39. Bazinwales,
    “Looking at the Greens, they seem to be flatlining when I would have expected them to pick up some votes from disilusioned Labour supporters.”

    interesting observation. Perhaps it should be set beside comments that libs don’t seem to be picking up very fast. Dare i suggest that the one thing concerning voters is brexit, and while leavists have a clear choice of parties pushing forward that cause, Remainers have precious little choice of one opposition party which also wants leave, and another with hardly any MPs.

    Has anyone analysed to what extent labour’s slow collapse is due to the desertion of Remainers? I posted soem while back that they risk alienating both groups.

    S Thomas,
    ” For those like Danny who believe that Brexit is all bobby Ewings shower sequence and everything will be as it was come 2 years time and that the UK will return a chastened nation to the EU fold ,it is a lesson in how bitter and unforgiving this can become and the unlikelyhood of that scenario”

    Another interesting post. I do not believe everything will be as it was 2 years ago. Likely Brexit will succeed or fail, and in either case everything will be different. Either the UK will commit to leave or commit to remain in a way which it is not now.

    The situation where the nation continues divided 50/50 would continue to dominate party politics indefinitely. The rise of a pro remain (or rejoin) party would be inevitable, and currently it does not look like labour.

    The Leave vote contains a faction of moderates who are persuadable either way, plus some diehards. The diehards would indeed continue to be troublesome, especialy so as they will feel cheated of a near victory. But a mob who lynched a refugee is not anything I am willing to appease.

  40. Peter C and Alec – very good!

  41. Danny
    “The Leave vote contains a faction of moderates who are persuadable either way, plus some diehards. The diehards would indeed continue to be troublesome, especialy so as they will feel cheated of a near victory. But a mob who lynched a refugee is not anything I am willing to appease.”

    Have you seen the pictures of members of the alleged mob? At least some of them appear to be either immigrants themselves or descended from post-war immigrants. I think I’ve heard of this syndrome before where established immigrants resent the arrival of more recent waves. It’s a horrible thing whoever does it of course.

  42. There is a new thread – where the old arguments can be endlessly recycled (until there is another thread where ……)

  43. @CMJ

    “The predicted loss of 50 Labour seats looks quite modest to me”

    I agree – and so does Lord Robert Hayward, whom MSmithson describes at Political Betting as “a prominent Tory psephologist who has good record with annual local projections”.

    His numbers are:

    “Projections from Lord Robert Hayward of changes in May locals in England Wales Scotland

    LAB -125
    LDs +100
    UKIP -100
    CON +100”

    We’ll know how accurate this is, in a month.

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