The Times’s first YouGov poll since the election was called has topline figures of CON 48%(+4), LAB 24%(+1), LDEM 12%(nc), UKIP 7%(-3). The Conservative lead of twenty-four points is the highest they’ve recorded from YouGov since way back in 2008. In terms of a starting position for an election campaign this is a huge gap – to put it in context, when the 1997 election was called, polls in the first week put Labour between 21 and 29 points ahead of the Tories. The Tory lead now isn’t as large as Blair’s huge Labour lead then… but you can see we’re in the same sort of territory.

More interesting to me is that UKIP score – the lowest YouGov have shown since 2013. This echoes the ICM flash poll yesterday, which also also had UKIP dropping sharply to a record low. While I’d still like to see it repeated in other polls before assuming too much, it looks distinctly as if an actual election being called has led to some people who were saying they would have voted UKIP switching to the Tories. Perhaps it’s the sudden difference between a theoretical election that could be three years away, and thinking about what they might do in an election just seven weeks away.


564 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 48, LAB 24, LD 12, UKIP 7”

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  1. That Opinium poll corroborates earlier findings from Yougov of a spike up for Conservatives since the announcement, and a drop for both Labour and UKIP.

    It’s also notable for showing an increase for LibDems – this company usually show them at a lower level than other pollsters.

    What will be worth watching from here on, is which way the “Don’t Knows” break. Usually, as election day approaches, many of them fall back in line with their previous vote. With Labour heading for disaster, their previous supporters may be put off by the negative polls.

  2. Sea Change

    Graham will have a problem explaining that one. Fascinating the Tories have now clearly gained some more traction by calling the election.

  3. Changes from Opinium’s last poll only a week ago are:

    Con 45 (+7)
    Lab 26 (-3)
    Lib 11 (+4)
    UKIP 9 (-5)

    (66%) now expect May to remain as prime minister after the election, while 7% think Corbyn will replace her in Downing Street. On the issue normally regarded as most important in determining voter behaviour – management of the economy – May and chancellor Philip Hammond are now trusted by more voters (49%) to run the nation’s finances well than those who trusted David Cameron and George Osborne to do so ahead of the 2015 election (42%). Trust in Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell to run the economy well is at 15% lower than it was for Ed Miliband and Ed Balls ahead of the 2015 election (21%).

    On almost every count, May wins. Some 49% of all voters now approve of the way she is running the country, against just 18% who express approval for Corbyn’s leadership.

    The Tories are trusted by almost three times as many voters (38%) to handle Brexit negotiations most effectively, compared with 13% for Labour. Even among Remain voters, there is support from many for the way May is handling Brexit. Among Remainers, 36% think she is handling Brexit well, while 66% of Leave voters say she is doing a good job. Corbyn beats May when voters are asked who sticks to their principles most: 47% say Corbyn and 46% May. But 55% say May is a strong leader, against 17% for Corbyn.

    James Crouch of Opinium said: “The inevitable focus on Brexit in the coming months seems likely to scupper Labour’s chances of making any significant headway, with the election being fought on the topics that the Conservatives have strong leads on.”

  4. The 1918 election was the first one in which everyone voted on the same day – Saturday 14th December. Results were not declared until the 28th December, allowing for soldiers’ votes to be repatriated to the UK.

    The new Parliament did not meet until 4th February 1919, by which time one new member had fallen victim to the Spanish Flu pandemic, never having had the opportunity to take his seat…

  5. @TOH “Graham will have a problem explaining that one. Fascinating the Tories have now clearly gained some more traction by calling the election.”

    The jump in the polls across the board must be greater than even the Tories’ best estimations. Clearly, Tory Remainers are by and large sticking with the party and UKIP voters are coming over to back TM as well.

    Like you I am not going to make predictions until after the locals but these kinds of swings the Polls are predicting, if maintained, will see a landslide in the 125 seat range.

  6. @pete b

    The takings for the film are those up to last December.

    It is being shown free by community groups all round the UK and I thought of the film because it has been shown in my small town.

    https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1CAACAV_enGB733GB733&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=i+daniel+blake+additional+screenings

  7. http://opinium.co.uk/political-polling-19th-april-2017/

    “In a separate study, we have been following the same 2,000 voters all through this parliament. We asked how they intended to vote in February 2017 and immediately after the general election was called.
    We found that since the snap election was called, those who recently intended to vote UKIP have peeled away in favour of the Conservatives. Only half (53%) of those who intended to vote UKIP in February are planning to do so now, with 30% now opting to vote for the Conservatives.
    The crumbling of the UKIP vote in favour of the Tories is the main reason for their (almost) overnight improved performance in the polls”

  8. So the next question – if the Tory increase is all due to UKIP, where was UKIP strong in 2015?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32624405

    Looking at that heat map it looks like Tory held seats?

    UNS will be the “poll failure” of this election imho…all the Tories are doing is piling up votes in safe seats…

  9. And a reminder of this churn analysis released yesterday

    http://www.britishelectionstudy.com/bes-findings/has-brexit-broken-british-voting/

    The graphs show the situation far more clearly than can be described in words…

  10. Richard
    Interesting graphs. One curious omission is that though they show movement from parties TO Undecided, they don’t show the other way round – from undecided to a party. I’m sure there must be some.

  11. The Conservatives are up 1% to 46%. This is going to be an exciting election with more seats then normal changing hands.

  12. @Pete B

    I guess if you were undecided in 2015 you didn’t vote, and if you didn’t vote in 2015, you probably wont vote in 2017, so the impact is minor.

    The striking point for me in those graphs is the lack of Labour to Tory switchers. So this whole theme that Labour voters are switching to Tory because May is appealing to the working class is simply not reflected in the data.

  13. Perhaps some voters have gone from Labour to UKIP and then on to the Tories? Probably not that many though.

  14. @Tancred:
    The problem with the “exit fee” is that if it doesn’t come in exchange for some concessions on the EU’s part there’s room for the UK to say “Nope” and begin pursuing non-EU trade deals and the like. TBH if I were in May’s shoes, I’d be looking at possible stand-alone deals almost more aggressively than I would the EU, since it seems pretty clear to me that there are folks in the EU who are out for blood over this.

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