Just to follow up on the voting intention polls yesterday, there was also a new YouGov poll in this morning’s Times. Topline figures were CON 44%, LAB 23%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 10%. The twenty-one point lead is the same as the weekend’s ComRes poll and the largest YouGov have given the Tories in government (it also equals the highest the Lib Dems have hit since the election).

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104 Responses to “YouGov/Times: CON 44, LAB 23, LDEM 12, UKIP 10”

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  1. On My calculation the conservatives requiring two thirds of all MP’s will need 434 votes to secure an election (albeit that depends on whether Sinn Fein MP’s are counted).

    I am not sure the Unionists really want an election given the recent Stormont poll, I think the SNP unlikely to vote as only one more seat for a full house but risk of losing some seats in a snap poll. The Lib Dems will vote for it.
    This means Labour must vote for a poll: given Corbyn’s level of support in the PLP will his word be law? What are the bets on a number of nervous Labour MP’s weighing up a difficult decision: do I vote for a GE now with this leader and in consequence risk wipeout: or do I postpone and hope to change leader and circumstances before 2020?

  2. And once again the Boundary changes are kicked into the long grass…….

    Predictions of what will happen on June 8, anyone? It is a long way off yet, of course, and events may derail May, but I would expect LDs to gain a few seats – perhaps 10, perhaps 15 – but Labour may well lose 50. Tories will win three or four in Scotland, I think – perhaps more. It all depends on whether Scottish Labour voters are willing to do the logical thing and vote for the party which offers them the constitutional option they prefer, rather than continue to vote tribally.
    But what about Northern Ireland? What happens if Sinn Fein has a majority of seats? Will the Unionists stand together in Northern Ireland and in Scotland?

  3. Sturgeon has called May unelected over and or again. May calls an election and Sturgeon predictably criticises it. Ugh!

    It is partly opportunistic, but anybody who thinks politics isn’t this is a fool. In short, Brown got in wrong, May has got it right.

    One other benefit is that the anticipation of a Conservative landslide and stronger Govt has finally broken this wretched circle of hedging and short selling of the pound. Some institutions lost a lot of money today on short selling positions.

  4. If the election is a referendum on soft Brexit versus hard Brexit, the LDs will probably gain a few seats in England. It is unclear though what might happen in Scotland where, in addition to soft Brexit vs hard Brexit, the Union x Independence issue will also be on the ballot. Can Labour campaign in Scotland as the safe soft Brexit, but Unionist choice, and would that help them regain a few seats north of the border ?

  5. My prediction is the Conservatives with 150 majority.May has changed her mind on a snap election in the national interest .If you believe that you are as thick as they come.

  6. I wonder if part of May’s calculation is that with UKIP in disarray, she might get a good chunk of their 4m votes at the last GE? I wonder how many Lab or Lib seats there are where the UKIP vote is greater than the majority over the Tories?

  7. @DEZ: I am not so sure the Tories will get a supermajority.. GE campaigns are quite long now with the 25 working-day window (effectively, over a month long), and a lot can happen in that period.

  8. Anthony, you have hit the jackpot with this website, think of all the ad revenue with all these continued elections :)

  9. 30% of voters polling as not voting or undecided. Does anyone know what the typical figure is at an election for opinion polling? The total is enough to make any party the winner were it all to go the same way.

    Which it won’t, of course. But how much of it might go to labour will depend on whether they can come up with a credible platform.

    This election will be won or lost on Brexit, and the conservatives have staked a clear position being the party of putting it through.

    If lib dems pick up seats it will be by opposing Brexit and seeming sufficiently credible here and there to persuade voters to turn out.

    Labour will succeed or fail depending on how well it can keep hold of its current voters, the large majority of whom are remainers but the minority not. If they have not lost their remaining leave supporters by now, perhaps they should stop worrying about them because they must be the ones who would never vote tory. What they need to do is stop remainers defecting to the libs, and unite them under labour.

    May’s decision now must be partly because there is a risk once negotiations get underway of hard brexiters deserting the conservatives. In 2020 she could have been in the position of neither leave nor remain liking the outcome of her negotiations.

  10. I think I was about 15 seats out on my 2015 prediction, my prediction for June 2017 is,

    Conservative : 398
    Labour : Not many
    Lib Dems : Even less

  11. Good evening all from a sunny Itchen Valley Hampshire.

    Well, I did say on a number occasions if the opposition keeps on putting obstacles in front of Brexit then the PM will probably go to the country to seek a stronger mandate.

    However…I’m not convinced this is the main reason the PM has called an election. The polls were far too tempting. The party with the biggest smile is the Lib/Dems because they have so few MP’s and see this as an opportunity to gain some seats. I saw one graph that showed them winning 11 seats. WoW!!

    The SNP might lose a few to the Tories but I doubt they will fall below 54 out of 59.

    The Tories will increase their majority but turn out is going to be well down and very low, then we get into legitimacy territory.

    Winner….voter apathy.

  12. What are the preliminary predictions on the size of the Tory majority after 8th June? I can’t imagine it would be anything less than 100 at least. Will it be a total wipeout for Labour?

  13. In one way it is so hard to predict what is going to happen here…
    In another it seems also predictable – an increased Tory majority, Corbyn gone and May seemingly set for five long years…

    May’s driver is her inability to control her own party – with a majority barely in double figures and squads of both the ‘bastards’ (copyright J Major) and the Tory Remoaners fighting over the direction of Brexit she is struggling to control every single vote.

    Blaming it on the opposition (which is – after all – the weakest for decades!) is compete rubbish aimed at the unthinking part of her base, who will no doubt lap it up…

    it’s a cynical u-turn yes, but it’s good politics too, as long as it comes off (which looks highly likely).

  14. It seems that even Tory activists did not know this was coming, which rather smacks of a panic decision given the unseemly haste.. She could have given a bit more time for Tory candidates to max out their long campaign spending (as it is they only have 2 weeks)

    Perhaps this really is the reason?
    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/elections/2017/03/70000-question-what-does-conservative-party-election-expenses-scandal

    Would make Erdogan look like a novice!

  15. Woo Hoo!

    My favourite daily entertainment is back on line.

    Thanks AW for solving the DB issues. Normal service is resumed.

  16. Danny

    ‘remaining leave supporters’ Indeed! So far labour have been obsessed with them, while, ( as you nearly say), what they should be worried about are their ‘leaving remain supporters’.
    ‘fraid I’m one of them. Now with the 30% who haven’t a clue who to choose out of this lot!
    Serious contributions from posters who know their psephology are hotly anticipated, now that the site is back up.

  17. Danny

    ‘remaining leave supporters’ Indeed! So far labour have been obsessed with them, while, ( as you nearly say), what they should be worried about are their ‘leaving remain supporters’.
    ‘fraid I’m one of them. Now with the 30% who haven’t a clue who to choose out of this lot!
    Serious contributions from posters who know their psephology are hotly anticipated, now that the site is back up.

  18. Michael Crick?Verified account @MichaelLCrick 45m45 minutes ago

    BREAKING: The CPS have told Channel 4 News tonight that they are considering charges against more than 30 individuals. #electionexpenses

  19. WB –

    It is indeed 434 seats, it 2/3rds of the whole House, regardless of if the MPs vote, take their seats or indeed if the seats are vacant.

  20. Even more recent ICM poll reported on the Smithson account

    First GE2017 poll from ICM – post announcement
    Con: 46% (+2)
    Lab: 25% (-1)
    LD: 11% (+ 1)
    UKIP: 8% (-3)
    Green: 4% (n/c)

  21. I think this is all wrong by TM. But there it is.My present intention as a failed, nay, a humiliated predictor of political events is not to post for the election period.

    this will be a relief to many I know but i will read other posts with interest.

    On the other hand i started eating chocolate halfway through Lent….

  22. Alec,
    “Abbot doing her slightly loopy best by suggesting Labour would be under 10% if it wasn’t for Corbyn.

    Daft, and getting dafter. Such a shame, and nothing but contempt for the man’s arrogance.”

    Alec, I wonder if she might be right. Tony Blair is considered to have shifted the party to the right, and therefore engineered a victory. I don’t think this is correct. He won because the conservatives were hated, because of their policies. He won because he said ‘trust me, I will be different’.

    ‘Conservative light’ did not go down well in the last two general elections for labour. To win they must have a new image, and Corbyn could have been it. But labour blew it because instead of working with a new leader they set about trying to destroy him. I am sure there are conservatives who heartily detest May. Probably from both the remain and leave sides. But they do try to keep their war private.

    Whereas labour have positively encouraged the idea they are a wholly divided party incapable of organising the proverbial in a brewery.

    While this infighting has reached a crescendo under Corbyn, it was already there under Blair, Brown, Milliband. It was there under kinnock, Foot and I dont know who else.

    If Corbyn had not been elected, it seems likely division amongst labour supporters would have grown, because they wanted Corbyn. The party was already fractured away from its membership base.

    Both libs and labour have been infected with this dangerous sickness that they must hold the middle ground. No. To gain the middle ground but forfeit their base is a disaster, swapping fickle tactical voters for dedicated ones. The libs fell hard into this trap and are only recovering a little because of their stance on Brexit which has given them a new cause. Labour has failed to champion either leave or Remain and risks being left wholly irrelevant on the biggest issue of the day. To be the opposition you must oppose. It offers precious little for its traditional supporters, or May’s ‘just about managing’.(who admittedly are also getting little from her, but she does not need them right now)

  23. SThomas

    Please continue! I disagree with (almost) everything you write, but I enjoy your style and unpredictability.

  24. So Theresa May has just gifted the SNP the UK GE they would have dreamed of and also quite probably a second indy ref at a time of its choosing. A strange political decision from a Tory perspective so far as Scotland is concerned.

  25. This just went into moderation for obscure reasons. Lets try removing a few words!

    If Corbyn had an ounce of political nous he would have said

    “Of course we want a General Election, but this is a panic measure from the PM worried about the expenses scandal. Under the circumstances we will abstain. let Tory votes carry this measure through”

    Then the vote would fail without 2/3 of all MP’s voting for it. May would have to choose between repealing the FTPA (open to question as to motive) , or calling a vote of no confidence in herself, which everyone could gleefully vote for

  26. ANDREW111

    I think TM’s announcement was purely intra-party.

    But as you quoted the CPS may make an announcement just before the elections (a la FBI director).

  27. Hireton

    One wonders if the Tories are now planning for a UK without Scotland.

  28. Hireton

    One wonders if the Tories are now planning for a UK without Scotland.

  29. PatrickBrian

    that all depends where you live, I would have thought, unless you are treating it as a referendum rather than a General Election

  30. Now that we’re having a GE this June, when will the next one be? Is it still 2020 or will it be 2023?

  31. As it stands today, Labour will lose a lot of seats, but not as many as the polling suggests, unless UKIP can get some funding.

    Indeed it is quite a surprise from Corbyn not to force a no-confidence vote (it can still happen) unless voting with the government (Brexit) has become his habit or he is relishing the thought of a carefree summer (or just the usual incompetence, driven by “instinct”).

  32. Bigfatron:

    “May’s driver is her inability to control her own party – with a majority barely in double figures and squads of both the ‘bastards’ (copyright J Major) and the Tory Remoaners fighting over the direction of Brexit she is struggling to control every single vote.

    Blaming it on the opposition (which is – after all – the weakest for decades!) is compete rubbish aimed at the unthinking part of her base, who will no doubt lap it up…”

    There is considerable truth in this.

    I think that most of the opposition are itching for the chance to bring down Brexit if the EU plays hard ball. But it comes to this:

    Tories plus Labour Leave plus Unionists plus Carswell = 350.

    That means if 30 Tories break ranks, they are dead in the water.

    And the EU knows this. The EU would be hurt by no deal – but the current arithmetic in the Commons gives it every reason to believe it can play hardball without taking such a risk.

    So it is the lack of reliable Tories that hurts. That had some of my fellow Leavers who might ruin everything by being too absolutist.

  33. WB,

    We should also note the fact that this is Easter week and the school holidays so many MPs of all colours may be away on “factfinding missions” in places like Antigua…

    There can be no pairing in this vote..433 in favour and it fails..

  34. Allan,

    Neither! 2022!

  35. If the FTPA is so easy to circumvent, what was the point of it?

  36. @Andrew111

    Once it is appreciated that 2/3 means 2/3 of seats, not 2/3 of votes cast, it is rather odd that May didn’t say that she was going to seek the House of Commons permission to hold an election.

    I think it is Iolanthe which has the line, “It is rude, madam, to presume, madam.”

  37. @DEZ
    “May has changed her mind on a snap election in the national interest . If you believe that you are as thick as they come.”
    I’m sure Mrs May thinks it is in the national interest for her to remain Prime Minister. (Consider the alternatives … she may have a point.)

  38. ANDREW111
    Allan,
    Neither! 2022
    __________
    Cheers.

  39. Election time 2017… Con 350 / LAB 204 / LIB 20 / UKIP 0 / GRN 1 / SNP 53 / OTH 22

    Not an earthquake but will make TMay sleep a couple more nights.

    Anyone expecting UKIP to win more seats than they did in 2015 needs to leave this site immediately and admit defeat/stupidity. You really need to grow a brain.

    Libs of course will win more. Labour of course will lose. What will be interesting is the Scotland results. I think the SNP will lose a few but of course not to the Tories (that’s impossible). A few to the Libs and who knows about Lab.

  40. Lewblew

    I disagree. SNP may lose two or three to the Tories, if the Labour supporters can bring themselves to voting for the Union. They may lose one to the LDs. But the SNP vote looks rock solid at the moment and they will lose seats only where the Unionist parties bury their differences and combine their vote.

    So if you are a traditional Labourite and want left wing policies, but you also want the Union for whom do you vote?

  41. LEWBLEW

    “What will be interesting is the Scotland results. I think the SNP will lose a few but of course not to the Tories (that’s impossible). A few to the Libs and who knows about Lab”
    _________

    Not a chance Labour or the Lib/Dems will take anything off the SNP. The Tories might take 2 or 3 off the SNP.

  42. Allan Christie: If the snap election is held on June 8th, the next GE will be on the first Thursday of May in 2022;. The PM may delay the fixed date of the next GE by up to two months, but only with parliamentary approval.

  43. @PETE B
    All the opposition needs to do is abstain – and take the hit of being accused of being afraid. But according to today’s TV, they are all ‘with souls in arms and eager for the fray’ though that didn’t do Richard III much good.
    A few phone calls to agree that before going on TV and Mrs May would have egg on her face tomorrow. Nicola Sturgeon could have been the one to tell her “It’s not an appropriate time”

  44. A Scottish Tory Unionist’s interesting view on May’s decision:

    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/04/general-election-will-vote-scottish-independence/

  45. @Rudyard

    I’m not sure planning for events in Scotland figures highly in May ‘s calculations!

  46. So we enter uncharted territory with the first big test of public opinion post Brexit. Will the huge poll lead for Mrs May convert as many expect, or will real life turn out to be a bit more complicated? Most would agree that Mrs May appears to have a strong hand with a weak and divded opposition, but the country is far from uniform. The balance between different segements of the electorate, and the emerging narrative will be what determines the results in individual constituencies. Many will be hard to call and there will be surprises.

    The May local election results are going to play a big part in the narrative – Con and LD on the up and up, with UKIP and Lab collapse anyone? Whatever these turn out to be, as a precursor to the bigger contest they will set the tone for the electorate, create momentum, and determine the energy levels of the footsoldiers.

    Will the inevitable savaging of Corbyn by certain sections of the media drive the already low Lab VI into the abyss?

    Will the UKIP vote crumble? Mrs May has certainly given them plenty of reasons to back her, and reinforce the Tory vote where the Tories are already strong, but what will they do in Lab seats with modest majorities? Will low turnout of Lab voters and a drift from UKIP to Tory be enough to turn these seats blue?

    Will the Lib Dems be able to capitalise on their positioning as a pro EU party? How far can this take them?

    Which parties have the funds, candidates, and organisation in place to fight the fight?

    It’s going to be a fascinating, but bitter and highly divisive campaign.

  47. For the life of me I fail to understand why Corbyn wishes to go along with May’s desire to call the election.What on earth does he have to gain from facilitating an election which will humiliate him and bring his leadership to an unseemly end?. It seems an act of pure masochism on his part.Why not force May to go down the humiliating road of tabling a Vote of No Confidence in her own Government – which with its attendant constitutional uncertainties might make him PM for at least a short period?. He has a golden opportunity here to create chaos for which May would be blamed. I am really puzzled. Is he really Educationally Subnormal?

  48. Graham,
    Corbyn has his own agenda, and becoming the governing part is secondary to turning labour in a direction he would wish.

    Though obviously, more wins is better.

    His policy statements have cinsistently been that he would welcome an election and he has been hinting one is coming for some time. Presumably therefore he has a plan on how to fight it.

    It may be he feels he might not be leader by 2020, so this is an opportunity.

  49. As others have pointed out, I agree that the election expenses issue was a significant factor in TMs decision.

    Getting back to the purpose of this site, I think the opinion polls we will see over the next eight weeks, or whatever it is, will be largely accurate but with the slight risk of over correction because of last time; i.e. the tory position might be slightly overstated, but not enough to make a material difference

    However, post Brexit, I do wonder about the validity of the models that translate that into seats. As an example, Hove would be an easy win on current VI for the Tories and yet it was a heavily remain seat. I can’t see the Tories winning it.

    The question in my mind is whether the gains from Labour seats that can now turn blue outweigh the losses of tory seats that voted remain.

    I think this will be closer than the opinion polls suggest, although I have also predicted coalition at the last GE, remain would win and Trump would lose

  50. Danny,
    I understand your point , but if he is heavily defeated as looks certain, his leadership will be effectively over anyway.!The membership will then wish to move in another direction. Moreover, this should be obvious to him.

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