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”

1 5 6 7 8 9 12
  1. @gray

    sorry but the economic policy theory that a high speed train network in the uk is not needed because it would give troubles to conventional line companies is not defensible.
    So you could say that the national telephone network shouldn’t have been implemented because many women lost their job of connecting phone calls from different districts.

  2. 37% turnout in council by election is not too bad – the point I meant to offer here is a seat which voted to remain with 56% of vote could only attract 2.1% of the vote of the main pro party. What I find talking to people on the doorstep is that the EU ref is over and its time to move on – I have I voted to remain I was on the losing side I’m over it.
    I believe that the Liberal Democrats will not do that well in GE but I am relocating to the SW just to make sure!!!

  3. @RUDYARD

    “I believe it would be wonderful if all the main parties in this General Election pledged to maintain this commitment which helps us to stand tall on the world stage.”

    I think you are very naive. Much of this aid does not help the poor in the third world but is instead wasted on schemes designed to prop up unpopular regimes and even ends up in the pockets of corrupt politicians. We still send money to India despite the fact that this country can no longer be considered ‘poor’ by any economic measure.
    It even has a space programme, spends billions on the military and possess nuclear weapons. And Pakistan is hardly much poorer than India.
    I want aid to be reduced and targeted where is a genuine need – not for political reasons or bribery of any form.

  4. Evidence suggests that in every recent election, the conservative vote has been under-estimated in the polls. I don’t quite understand why most people here predict a much closer race.

  5. Gray:

    Re AVE/HSR, I don’t think we’re actually disagreeing much. For me, the main argument for UK HSR is to add capacity cost-effectively, allowing the conventional lines to be used more intensively for freight and stopping passenger services, because of the elimination or reduction of expresses which require big blocks of line kept clear.

    I suspect a lot of the older Spanish lines are not economically viable, but are kept going for social reasons. People getting from their village to a nearby town aren’t going to be bothered whether it takes 15 minutes or 30, as long as the service keeps going. But even these older lines (I was driving on roughly the same route as the wind-y old line from Valencia to Teruel and on to Zaragoza) are electrified and seem to be well maintained. It looked great, and I’m tempted to put together an “old railway lines of Spain” holiday!

  6. @BOBINNORFOLK

    You forget that the LibDems never even stood in this seat the last time, so the 2.1% is an increase from zero!
    I expect that most of that 36% were Tories aged over 60 so I’m not too surprised at the result.
    I would really not read anything into just one council by-election with a low turnout.

  7. @Albert:
    The issue is that the taxpayer is likely to end up on the hook for both systems: The HSR system with its capital costs (£56bn at last check; from too much painful experience with this sort of thing in the US, I’d take an even bet that the cost at the end breaks £100bn) and likely a choice between a bigger subsidy or slashed service on the other routes’ franchises.

    And moreover, this stands in opposition to the significantly smaller marginal benefit of HS2 vis-a-vis the AVE system. Working to strip travel times down a bit further is a fine goal but I really don’t see the cost-benefit analysis panning out here.

    (And please note that as much fun as I have thinking about them, I have the same reservations concerning various HSR proposals in the NEC here in the US…or indeed, that mess out in California. And I say this as someone who spends a good chunk of their time supporting passenger rail in the US.)

  8. @MacTavish

    Because when push comes to shove in a GE the voting pattern is much different. Local elections – especially by-elections – often have a poor turnout and it’s usually often only the elderly who can be bothered to vote.

    Anyway, even if May were to have a huge majority of say, 150, is that going to change anything? Probably not. The EU negotiating stance, if anything, will harden if they see the British as obstinate and hostile. It doesn’t bode well, and those remainers who agree with May’s empty talk of national unity should bear this in mind. Unity behind a wrong policy will lead to a disastrous result. The concept of ‘my country right or wrong’ simply does not ring true in our current predicament.

  9. The PA poll of polls has –
    Con 46
    Lab 25
    LD 11
    UKIP 9
    Green 4
    (I found a link to this on LabourList but it does look genuine)

    Britain Elects still has UKIP ahead of LD but is a few days out of date. If the LDs pick up a bit as they often do during a campaign it could be a re-run of 1983.

  10. Somerjohn:
    I agree that we’re probably saying similar things after a fashion. What I’m really seeing here is a nice idea…but I think what you’re going to get with HS2 is a system that by design has to be separate from existing services, forces a lot of transfers as a result, runs over budget, and generally makes a hash of the existing system. What I’m wondering is if there aren’t some Beeching Ax-ed lines which could be restored on a “fast conventional” basis (or be used to shift freight loads over), achieving a similar policy objective in terms of added capacity but for a less dramatic cost (albeit at being less “shiny”).

    I’d also ask whether if building an entirely new system is deemed necessary for capacity purposes (I’ll go ahead and stipulate that it is for a moment) whether being able to run the system at a top speed of 125-140 MPH versus “something faster” wouldn’t save quite a bit (since the faster you go, the more you’re bound into wide curve radii and lots of bridges and tunnels).

    As a sort of response to Albert’s comment about phone companies, this would be the equivalent of replacing one “high speed” internet service with a shiny new “even faster” service that’s only modestly faster when the new service will double my bill and try to force me to use an old AOL-style walled garden system. Notwithstanding the social functions of the local services, in Spain the equivalent is having that replace dial-up.

  11. @somerjohn

    The q1 estimated GDP figures are published a week today and expected to show the anticipated slow down in the economy. I expect the polling impact of detailed economic news will be limited unless it feeds into a narrative that May has cut and run before the bad economic news related to Brexit begins. In Scotland Diageo have announced some job losses in Scotland in the drinks industry order to move them into other EU countries due to Brexit. We shall see.

  12. Tancred,

    “Much of this aid does not help the poor in the third world but is instead wasted on schemes designed to prop up unpopular regimes and even ends up in the pockets of corrupt politicians.”

    Any evidence for that?

    I know your fond of your “We All Know” sweeping generalisations, followed by your customary proclamation of disgust and half baked solution but really aren’t you just peddling a tabloid myth here.

    What is much more interesting is that if there is an aid cut it probably won’t impact on those deals where foreign aid is spent building projects of limited value on the guarantee that the contracts go to British companies often using imported UK staff costing more than using local Labour.

    I suspect a bit of our “Aid” to reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan found it’s way back to the UK as profit. The Uk once gave aid to Mexico to build a steelworks which once build never made any steel. But the entire plant was made in the UK ( with UK Steel) and shipped across to be assembled with UK engineers overseeing it all.

    Still much easier to blame those in “Hot Countries Far Away” than look closer to home!

    ” We still send money to India despite the fact that this country can no longer be considered ‘poor’ by any economic measure. It even has a space programme, spends billions on the military and possess nuclear weapons.”

    Why should that mean we shouldn’t send development aid.

    The Good Samaritan turned aside because someone was in need and he could help. He didn’t use the actions of those who went before as an excuse to walk on by.

    If India chooses to spend money on a Space Programme rather than the poor that is it’s choice and it’s free to make it as are we. If you decide not to help the poor in India because you think the Indian Government should be doing more to help them, it’s the poor you hurt not the Indian Government.

    Peter.

  13. For anyone who is predicting results in the Northern Isles here is a reminder that they do things differently there:

    http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2017/04/21/dont-back-says-tory-sic-paper-candidate-lerwick-north

  14. Have seen quite a bit on social media in the last couple of days about tactical voting with reference to an anti- Brexit agenda. Gina Millers is probably the best known/funded one, do people think they will make a difference or with only 7 weeks to go it be too late to have any effect
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/19/gina-miller-best-for-britain-tactical-voting-against-hard-brexit

  15. Afternoon folks. I’ve stayed away from here for a while, mainly because of a self-imposed absence from the commentariat after a few vicious online attacks (not here) from that bonehead minority that have taken over the Internet over the last couple of years. I thought I’d wait a few days until after the election was called to avoid some of the initial bluster before commenting.

    I’ve not a great deal to add to the previous comments to be honest – the polling averages are what they are, and point to a increased Conservative majority. However, there are a few caveats/questions that I’d like to make/ask:

    1. Is there any evidence from the polls of 2015 Labour voters switching directly to the Conservatives? Is it a case that the Conservative rise is predominantly driven by UKIP-Conservative switching along with underwhelmed Labour supporters?

    2. From the crossbreaks (I know….), where are Labour losing most? As pointed out above, if they lose vote share in the South outside London, it’s not that critical as they don’t have many seats in play.

    3. One interesting point from the 2015 election was the stability (even though they were ultimately wrong) of the opinion polls. However, most UK elections (particularly 2010) show significant volatility in the polling averages during the campaign. By the way, this is not meant to give Labour supporters hope – the volatility can go in any direction.

    4. As my most honourable friend TOH has frequently (and accurately) pointed out, leadership and the economy are essentially the key to victory. Thus far, the Conservatives are running a presidential campaign (we’ve not heard anything of significance from BoJo, Davies, etc). I just get a little of the impression that the Tories are playing a little bit too much “small ball”, with a very narrowly focussed campaign (not much content on real economic matters either). This may be the “Brexit Election”, but it’s still a General Election, and one would anticipate that some domestic issues will come into play at some stage. It’s clear that Corbyn is very vulnerable on the leadership question, and it’s interesting that he’s very much broadening the scope of the election (as I think he probably should).

    5. As also pointed out by others, the conversion of VI to seats is a challenging (and probably fruitless task). There hasn’t been a lot of tactical voting in recent UK elections (1997 was probably the last election with huge tactical voting), but it will be intriguing to see if some really crazy voting patterns emerge this time.

    I’m not giving a prediction for the election even for fun (sorry), but I hope, probably in vain, that it’s conducted in a good spirit (at least at the individual constituency level). I’ll admit that I don’t see the point of the election, but like all amateur psephologists, I enjoy the squirming of a soon-to-be-defeated politician on Election Night ;)

  16. Peter Cairns

    Indeed so.

    The Good Samaritan can afford less than 1% of his wealth to help the needy.

    No doubt there is some waste, just as there is in the NHS, Schools et al.

    Not a reason to pass by on the other side

  17. The Telegraph reporting now that the PM has pledged to keep the 0.7% aid law.

    Decency prevails.

  18. Thanks all, keep them coming.

    @ ALISTER1948

    Done. Seat projections removed.

    TURNOUT

    We’ve only had one turnout prediction so far. My feeling is that this could play an even more critical role this time than in recent GEs.

    There would seem to be several factors at play on turnout:

    Pushing it down:

    * Voter fatigue (council elections in May, referendum last yr, 2015 GE so recent)
    * Cynicism (“Brenda effect”)

    Pushing it up:

    * Brexit (agitation for and against; drawing in voters on both sides)
    * Familiarity (people literally know where polling station is due to spate of recent elections, easier to follow through with intentions)

    What other factors can you think of?

    Anyway with that in mind, my prediction is 67% [I do wish we’d adopt compulsory voting].

    Here’s the updated list. Apologies if I’ve missed anyone, just let me know. I’ll link to the old results once we move onto a new poll.

    **********

    (7) ALISTER1948 (20/4 – revised)

    Con 39%
    Lab 28%
    LD 12%

    (14) GRAY (21/4 – revised)

    Con 45% (392)
    Lab 24% (172)
    LD 11% (12)
    UKIP 10% (0)
    SNP (51)
    Grn (0)
    Oth (23)

    (15) NEILJ (21/4)

    Con 36%
    Lab 28%
    LD 19%
    UKIP 6%
    Oth 11%

    (16) GUYMONDE (21/4)

    Con 39%
    Lab 29%
    LD 16%
    UKIP 6%
    Oth 10%

    (17) MILLIE (21/4)

    Con 41%
    Lab 22%
    LD 17%
    UKIP 5%
    SNP 4%
    Grn 4%
    Oth 7%

    (18) JAMIE (21/4)

    Con 44% (397)
    Lab 22% (146)
    LD 17% (35)
    UKIP 6% (0)
    SNP 4% (47)
    Grn 4% (1)
    Oth (24)

    (19) ADVISABLYANON (21/4)

    Con 45.3%
    Lab 23.6%
    LD 14.6%
    UKIP 7.8%
    SNP 4.8% (4.7+0.1)
    Grn 2.4%

    Turnout 61%

    (20) PATRICKBRIAN (21/4)

    Con 40%
    Lab 28%
    LD 15%
    UKIP 7%
    Oth 10%

    (21) BT SAYS… (21/4)

    Con 42%
    Lab 27%
    LD 13%
    UKIP 9.5%
    SNP 4.5%
    Grn 3%
    Oth 1%

    (22) JONESINBANGOR (21/4)

    Con 38%
    Lab 28%
    LD 16%
    UKIP 7%
    Oth 11%

    (23) WB (21/4)

    Con (363)
    Lab (199)
    LD (12)
    UKIP (0)
    SNP (54)
    PC (4)
    Oth (18)

    **********

    ROLLING AVERAGE

    Con 41.6% (369)
    Lab 25.8% (189)
    LD 14.5% (20)
    SNP (52)

    Turnout 64%

    **********

  19. @louiswalshvotesgreen

    The potentially interesting issue about the Tory choice of Brexit for the election battleground at this stage is that it should open up the question of what the Tories will do post Brexit after they “have taken back control”?

    What will they do re agricultural payments? What will their policy be on maintaining support to regions which benefited from EU Structural Funds? What about employment rights? How much of currently devolved powers will they take back to Westminster to preserve the UK “single market” and enable the UK Government to reach trade agreements? And so on.

    The Tories may want to narrow the discussion but will they be allowed to? And will Cabinet discipline be maintained and even if it is what about maverick backbenchers?

  20. @ Tancred

    Agree on the aid budget being wasted by some

    @ Peter Cairns

    ‘Any evidence for that?’ An Ethiopian girl ban comes to mind.

    I am very much in favour of keeping the current aid budget, I just think it should be better used in some places.

  21. * girl ban= girl band

  22. TM has said victory is not a certainty

  23. Blue Bob,

    “An Ethiopian girl band comes to mind!”

    Yes indeed.

    On the basis of overwhelming evidence that Educating women and increasing their rights and labour market participation is strongly connected to rapid development and reduced poverty, the UK Government spent £5m over a number of years promoting a range of initiatives to help women both in Education ad Employment.

    One very small part of it was to use the well tried and effective technique of using celebrities, artists, actors, singers to promote the message of better treatment of women.

    So a tiny part of the money went to a band who put out stuff to promote the message, but of course by the time that those facts were filtered through a Press run by a handful of Low Tax anti Public Sector Oligarchs it ends up we wasted £5m a “An Ethiopian girl band!”

    Effective though, because people like you seem to have swollen it hook line and sinker!

    Peter.

  24. foreign aid

    If she is clever TM will stick to the headline 0.7 and redefine the areas so defined even if it means an argument with international body and definition.

  25. ‘Effective though, because people like you seem to have swollen it hook line and sinker!’

    Nope, I just think there are many more important places that money could be spent, maybe after we thwart third world hunger and disease we can move on to girl bands.

    Bob.

  26. @RUDYARD

    “The Telegraph reporting now that the PM has pledged to keep the 0.7% aid law.

    Decency prevails.”

    I beg to differ. She is only doing this as part of her globalist agenda post-Brexit. Helping out developing nations will put her in the good books of countries she wants to trade with.
    It’s all politics!

  27. @JOSEPH1832

    “International agreements do not involve one side’s courts having jurisdiction over the other.”

    You’re still living in the 19th century, let alone the 20th!

  28. Never been more depressed to be a labour supporter. I think about 170-180 seats looks about right. New leader and new direction I hope after this train wreck. Really hope David Milliband runs, not heard though.

  29. Gina Miller’s fighting fund now up to £211k and counting!

    I predict it will reach £1M.

  30. @EPOCHERY

    Don’t be depressed – vote LibDem instead.

  31. @PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    “If India chooses to spend money on a Space Programme rather than the poor that is it’s choice and it’s free to make it as are we. If you decide not to help the poor in India because you think the Indian Government should be doing more to help them, it’s the poor you hurt not the Indian Government.”

    But what the heck has this got to do with us? We are not responsible for India’s poor or indeed the poor of any other nation. There are plenty of poor people here in the UK. It’s this pompous, moralistic, internationalist attitude that has driven many people into the hands of extreme factions of both left and right.

    Charity should begin at home – and we should be helping our own people to have decent housing and an acceptable standard of living instead of wasting cash on dubious third world governments.

  32. The pledge to retain the 0.7% law is only on paper. “Foreign Aid” is already heavily subverted by using it to support projects not normally regarded as aid. For instance, a substantial portion of the so-called “boost” to the science spend has come from the aid budget, supporting projects based in the UK but of relevance to low or middle-income countries.

    I have no doubt that further creative accounting methods, channelling funding through DfID that would normally go through other departments, will be used to maintain the 0.7% fiction.

  33. @sssimon. for what it’s worth here is my punt .cons :41 lab 27 lib dems 15 ukip 6 others 11.

  34. Thanks @ Marco, will add.

    Latest list today is in moderation ATM. But to the points I made on that post:

    ******

    TURNOUT

    We’ve only had one turnout prediction so far. My feeling is that this could play an even more critical role this time than in recent GEs.

    There would seem to be several factors at play on turnout:

    Pushing it down:

    * Voter fatigue (council elections in May, referendum last yr, 2015 GE so recent)
    * Cynicism (“Brenda effect”)

    Pushing it up:

    * Brexit (agitation for and against; drawing in voters on both sides)
    * Familiarity (people literally know where polling station is due to spate of recent elections, easier to follow through with intentions)

    What other factors can you think of?

    Anyway with that in mind, my prediction is 67% turnout.

  35. LOUISWALSHVOTESGREEN

    ” As my most honourable friend TOH has frequently (and accurately) pointed out, leadership and the economy are essentially the key to victory.”

    Nice to hear from you again, your posting has been mixed. The “most honourable friend” was a kind comment and my wife would agree, but some probably would not. (:-))

    I still think that those two issues will be the main drivers of the election. From memory no government in recent times has been elected without a lead on both leadership and the economy and at the moment the Conservatives lead by 30+% on both. I really cannot see Corbyn challenging May at all on leadership and Labours economic stance seems to have few defenders of any political colour. I agree the Conservatives are being a bit presidential at the moment which is why I want to see May out and about on the hustings, talking to ordinary voters. The biggest danger to them is complacency.

    We will see critics of the government and Brexit picking up on all economic indicators that appear negative like the sharp drop in retail sales announced today. However I think that all commentators have been expecting a drop, something that both Alec and I have been predicting for some months. I don’t see it as all negative, as personal debt levels are currently way too high and restraint has been required for some time. The rising costs of imports due to the fall in the value of the £ was bound to have an effect. Of course on the plus side exports are on the rise and increasingly outside the EU which is likely to accelerate the decreasing importance of the EU to our exporters which has been the trend for some time now. Economic comparisons with the EU are likely to have no effect whatsoever IMO, especially as unemployment in the EU is still at 9.5%, twice that in the UK.

    I think Brexit will have some effect on the election, and I can see the LD’s with their anti-Brexit stance picking up a few seats from the Conservatives in London and the SW, but not enough to have an overall effect on the result. Elsewhere the Brexit effect is likely to have a positive effect on Conservative voting, especially in the N and Midlands.

    As I posted the other day I regard it as too early to forecast, other than a Tory win. I will be giving my initial view after the locals.

  36. S THOMAS

    “If she is clever TM will stick to the headline 0.7 and redefine the areas so defined even if it means an argument with international body and definition.”

    I agree, that’s what i expect them to do.

  37. In reference to tactical voting HuffPost has an article about someone who has created a table advising how to vote to stop the Conservatives, Gina Miller is putting together the soft-brexit tactical voting list, is there a chance that these tactical voting approaches will neutralise each other. It might also be asked where is the tactical vote advice from the right of the spectrum. Perhaps it would be difficult for UKIP to urge support for the Tories where they stand the best chance!! and is there a vice versa station?

  38. My prediction Conservative with around 150 majority better for them than 1983.However rather than May hoping this will bring the UK together it will be more divided than under Thatcher in the 1980s.

  39. that was situation not station (autocorrect I presume)

  40. Len McCluskey has been re-elected.

    That’s a blow to those in Labour who were hoping for a change in direction after the GE.

    Corbyn to stay on now, however bad the result is?

  41. THE OTHER HOWARD

    Your posting has been missed!!!!

    Sorry, dreadful typing error.

  42. Talking to my English friend who is in Michael Gove’s constituency – she can’t vote Corbyn or May and thinks Greens and LibDems are a wasted vote. I told her about the spreadsheet for tactical voting. However I also said you have to decide who is least worse. And I wonder if that is what will happen on June 8th – Ex-Labour voters and ‘progressives’ will think ‘Do I really want hard right Tories in charge?’ and vote either tactically or Labour. It is a long shot with the Kippers going home to the Tories but I would laugh a lot if May lost her majority

  43. TOH
    Lol! I did wonder a bit about the back-handed compliment you gave him!

  44. I believe it’s a myth that Corbyn will stay on regardless of the result (though he may hang on for several months).

    Question – does the government not have the power to delay the locals so that they coincide with the general? I thought this had been done before. Indeed, I seem to recall cases where central government had postponed for locals for a year or so.

    If so, why did TM decide to keep the locals at their present date, a month before the general? Was it too late to postpone them at this stage, or tactically does she believe there’s something to be gained from keeping the electoral timetable as-is in that respect?

  45. @RP

    – I do think Corbyn will stay on, but for 6-18 months tops to secure a left-wing successor.

    Thatcher went to the country twice after the locals, but I can’t remember a situation like this before, though it may have happened.

    @Tancred

    Did you see your new crush on This Week? I thought Brillo did a fine job pulling Gina Millar’s pants down on Live TV.

  46. PeteB

    Yes, i was bragging that my long sight had improved the other day but I really should not post without my reading glasses. I hope i did not cause offence, certainly not intended.

  47. @SEA CHANGE

    I have better things to do with my time than watching a ‘has been’ hack brown-nosing the government.

  48. couper 2802

    What surprises me most about your post is that you are willling to admit that you have an english friend. I think you ought to be careful or your friend “Nicola” will have you down as a rebel.After all when was it that we heard anything that could be considered dissent from any SNP member to Kim Jong Sturgeon.

  49. Looking at the markets the sharp drop in retail sales announced today has had irtually no effect, The Footsie 100 is up a touch as is the £ against the Euro. The £ is down a touch against the $ but not significantly.

  50. @Sea Change,
    ” I do think Corbyn will stay on, but for 6-18 months tops to secure a left-wing successor.”
    In that case we’re in agreement – it’s simply a matter of different definitions of staying on. When I say that he won’t stay on, I mean I’ll be surprised if fights another election after this one (unless the Conservatives lose their majority or at least have it reduced – but these situations would also surprise me, as things stand). I’d be surprised, too, if he stays on as long as 18 months, but that is after all the top end of your estimate.

    I also don’t believe he is certain to be successful in securing a leftwing successor, especially if Labour does anything like as badly as expected in the election (though it depends partly on definition – a semi-Corbynist such as Clive Lewis may have a good chance).

1 5 6 7 8 9 12