YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 44%, LAB 31%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 6%, GRN 2%, down to a thirteen point Conservative lead compared to sixteen points in the week (and twenty-point-plus leads when the election was first called). It suggests that the mid-week YouGov/Times poll was picking up the start of a trend, rather than just a blip (though given that ORB hadn’t done a recent poll and Panelbase changed methods, we haven’t really seen confirmation from other companies yet).

If the Tory lead really has fallen, the next question is why. As ever, it’s impossible to know for sure (though I will make my usual warning about assuming causality from petty campaign events – a few events like budgets, leaders speeches at conferences and so on can have an measurable impact on national polls. Calling someone a mugwump does not).

One thing that is interesting is Labour don’t knows. Looking at the entrails of the YouGov polls, it looks as if some 2015 Labour voters who were saying “don’t know” a week ago are now saying Labour. When YouGov were showing those twenty-point leads around 20-25% of people who voted Labour in 2015 were saying they didn’t know what they would do at the election, in the last couple of polls that has dropped to 11%. The other thing worth considering is whether those twenty-point leads were real at all, or just the result of temporary enthusiasm? Were Tories all cock-a-hoop and itching to take part in polls last week, Labour voters too despondent to bother? Political weighting of samples should go a long way to counter-act any such biases, but it may not do so entirely.


81 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 44, LAB 31, LD 11, UKIP 6”

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  1. Theres a new icm poll in the sun today that doesnt seem to have been posted anywhere con 47 Labour 28

  2. The polls move up and down all the time – this is still within a margin of error and does not tell us anything significant.

  3. I suspect that some people are nervous about May’s possible removal of the ‘triple lock’ on pensions.

  4. Still an awful long way to go….my guess is this poll is about where we are.

  5. @Tancred1967 (or is that @New Tancred??

    A number of consecutive polls that are within the MOE, but one side of the ‘nominal’ can be significant. This is the essence of control charts picking up trends.

  6. “strong and stable” repeated ad nauseam is not a vote winner whatever the gurus might tell the politicians. Why assume it’s appealing to voters? Very likely many voters interpret it as “I want a massive majority” and I’m not sure that’s what the voters want.

  7. @CATMANJEFF

    I’m still the same Tancred, rest assured.

    I think we need to see several polls with different figures before discerning a trend. Too early to talk of a Labour revival, though this might be true.

  8. @AW

    Do you know when the tables will be up please?

  9. The next election due in 2022 will under the terms of the FTPA take place on May 5th with Dissolution at the end of March that year.It follows that the Parliament elected on June 8th will actually only be for 4 years and 9 months!

  10. Maybe this got posted somewhere on the last thread, but the tables for the big YouGov amalgam of switching voters are very interesting.

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/i70tdeyvag/InternalResults_170420_Demographics_all_W.pdf

    With the more granular breakdown by age and EU vote in this big sample the various parties will have much to ponder in their targeting strategy. It is noticeable how poorly the Tories are doing in the under 30 group, and that the Lib Dems are doing better amongst under 25s than 25-30 (perhaps a tuition fee effect?). Turnout of these under 30 voters will be absolutely crucial in this election and it may be that the uptick in Labour polling numbers is mainly younger voters who were undecided coming off the fence. I would think this group is one that might shift Lib Dem in Remain areas where the Lib Dems work hard on them

  11. Labour received 30.4% of popular vote in GE2015. Hard to believe they will get close to that, let alone more, given relative ratings of Corbyn v Milliband.

  12. Kevin Watkins

    Thanks for alerting us to the SUN’s ICM poll. The figures are:-

    Con 47 (-1)*

    Lab 28 (+1)

    Lib 9 (-1)

    UKIP 8 (+1)
    * Compared with the last ICM poll in the Guardian.
    Election Calculus gives a majority of 140 based on these figures. The only thing you can say is that along with YouGov the lead is reduced but nowhere near as much.

  13. When was the Sun ICM poll done? None of the usual sites showing polls mention it. Was it done with normal methodology and a 1,000+ sample?

  14. COLIN
    In view of your comments on the last thread i watched May on Marr. For once we have to disagree. On Brexit she was very clear there will be no money terms agreed until a trade deal is agreed so a UK red line s also clear as i expected it to be.

  15. BAZINWALES

    Not clear yet.

  16. Perhaps Theresa May will change her mind and decide not to call a GE after all.

  17. BAZINWALES

    The Sun says at the end of the first week of electioneering so i would expect Thur/Fri or Fri?Sat. The SUN report also says the Tories have an 11% lead in key Labour marginals but again no detail. I think it is a normal poll under normal rules. No numbers polled yet.

  18. Question for the author. Did polls showing higher lead for tories included data taken over the easter period when the people who may have been available to take telecanvass etc would be different to this week. Does this not have an impact in terms of likely respondents?

    [Nope, they were one’s taken after the election announcement, so all after the Easter holidays – AW]

  19. Good Morning all, from a now rainy Bournemouth East.
    As in the build up to 2010 and 2015, I think the Lib Dem figures in the polls look a bit high.
    I think the Tories will take more putative Lib Dem and UKIP votes, while north of the border in Nothern UK, the Unionists will take more SNP votes than the polls suggest.

  20. GRAHAM.
    Hello to you and thanks for the explanation of how the Fixed Term Parliament Act is still on the statute book. I will remind my Politics students on Tuesday

  21. Wonder if polls continue to tighten and Theresa May fails to get her comfortable majority, she will regret calling this election before the boundary reviews were implemented. Labour still have a strong advantage on the current boundaries.

  22. @ MacTavish

    ‘ Labour still have a strong advantage on the current boundaries.’

    I thought that that was shown to be no longer be true in 2015. Anyone else know the current situation?

  23. God knows, I’m no fan of Corbyn but it’s clear, as someone else said, that he performs well on the stump. Remember Major and his wooden box?
    This in contrast to May who rarely looks comfortable unless the event has been carefully choreographed.

    I’ve always thought JC would be destroyed once the election campaign got underway, but he’s used to taking flac and seems quite energised.And who are the Tory big guns anyway? BoJo? Fallon? Nonentities one and all.

  24. And if endless repeating of “strong and stable” is all Downing St can come up with…

  25. TOH

    My comments to Jim Jam weren’t about Brexit-they were about domestic policy.

    She has to provide a reason for voting Conservative other than dealing with Brexit.

    If she doesn’t-come 2022, the electorate might just say-OK you’ve done that -goodbye .

  26. VALERIE

    “And if endless repeating of “strong and stable” is all Downing St can come up with…”

    I know what you mean. I wonder what the electorate will come up with on the 8th June? At the moment i expect a Tory victory with an increased majority.

  27. COLIN

    I appreciated the point you were making, but whether or not one like’s it this election is the Brexit election. For me the key drivers for the 2017 election are :-

    1. Best Leader
    2. Best Party to run the economy.
    3. Best Party to negotiate with the EU.

    On that we can agree I expect a very different platform for 2022.

  28. COLIN

    I should have said……………………on that I hope we can agree……….

    Sorry.

  29. I think May managed to score an own goal with her response to the nurses’ wage and food bank. it would have not have been easy to deal with the question (heavily loaded, but on some basis), but her response will not easily go away.

    Also, her response about the TV debate – that she will talk to the people is quite shaky considering that so far she spoke only to bussed activists (I know that the other parties have done the same, but at least they didn’t try to wash it over).

  30. @CHRISLANE1945: “Thanks for the explanation of how the Fixed Term Parliament Act is still on the statute book. I will remind my Politics students on Tuesday.”

    Tell them this too, though:

    “Under section 7(4)–(6), the prime minister is obliged to establish a committee to review the operation of the Act and to make recommendations for its amendment or repeal, if appropriate. The committee must be established between 1 June and 30 November 2020, and the majority of its members must be members of the House of Commons.”

  31. TOH

    Clearly Brexit is a huge issue, and given the lingering schism from the Referendum vote, the source of much speculation about votes being “lent” to Cons in “The North”.

    But loans are ( at least outside the EZ!) temporary.

    May must remember , that whilst she is deeply engaged in the Brexit negotiation, the rest of the country is living with the effects of a decade of squeeze on public finances.

    Cons cannot suddenly wake up , post Brexit, in 2019, to start promising manna from Heaven. & expect those “loaned” votes to stick with them.A new Labour Leader will just point to the record of fiscal constraint & its effects. And it may be a Labour Leader who somehow generates a degree of confidence in managing public finances.

    I am the first to want evidence of prudence & efficiency in Public Sector spending-but you would have to live on a different planet to see fail to see the straightened financial circumstances now being faced in Schools, LAs, & the Health Services.

    Anyway-I await the Manifesto & hope that it contains more than the empty words which Marr received this morning.

  32. The Other Howard,

    Good in theory but.

    “1. Best Leader.”

    May is coming across as wooden, aloof and repetitive while not really engaging with real voters.

    Corbyn is been seen as the little guy and underdog out there meeting people and fighting….Britain seems to like a Norman Wisdom.

    “2. Best Party to run the economy.”

    Currently the Tories don’t seem to be talking about the economy, they are policy light. Labour seem to be putting out ideas to deal with people’s genuine concerns. They may not be great policies but they are new ideas.

    “3. Best Party to negotiate with the EU.”

    Again, whether you agree with Labour’s stance, they have gone further than “Red, White and Blue”, Brexit means Brexit” and ” Best Possible Deal”!

    With None of the hoped for cracks in EU unity appearing and a spontaneous applause when they agreed to hold firm in under 15 minutes I think some people might be starting to wonder if the May strategy will work!

    No of this means that the Tories aren’t going to win with an increased majority but rather that the certainties about Tory support their supporters have might not be held as strongly by the public in general.

    Incidentally, If anyone watched I haven’t seen May on Vat, but did she just rule out increasing It or did she say it wouldn’t be widened as well.

    Peter.

  33. Food banks

    If i opened a shop and offered my goods free i would not be surprised that i was inundated with customers.

    However, that would not be an indication that my customers needed my free goods. The number of people using food banks is in direct proportion to the number of food banks. if a shop offered free food you would be mentally challenged to go to the shop next door and pay for the same.

  34. Food banks
    If i opened a shop and offered my goods free i would not be surprised that i was inundated with customers.

    you are right. if you offer free stuff, people will avail themselves of it. agreed. but no politician can say this.

  35. Chrislane

    In the interests of historical accuracy I will point out that in 2010 at the equivalent time the Lib Dems were significantly below the final result (on 18-20%), while in 2015 their poll position did not change significantly from well before, and was always close to the final result. The polls throughout were maybe 1% high for them on average.

    The polling companies have all changed their methodology in various ways since then and the Lib Dem score has been much more variable as a result, so on the basis of polling we only know that they are up 2-3% since the referendum (but not what the absolute value was). The much improved performance in all sorts of by-election compared with 2014-2015 does suggest they are up on 2015, not down however…

    If you take out the Cleggmania spike the pattern in 2010 had been the norm in many elections, which is why many people predicted a Lib Dem uptick in the last week or two of campaigning in 2015, which did not occur. We will find out which pattern applies this time on June 9th…

  36. Unlike some I think May gave herself some wriggle room with regard to paying the ”debt” to the E.U. before a trade deal was sorted and I do not think it was clear what she actually would do come the negotiations.
    If you look at the Andrew Marr interview from 16 minutes into the interview and particularly 18.20 to a direct question, she could have easily ruled it out but she side stepped the question by saying the E.U. did not require it to be paid before a trade deal anyway.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p051kj6z

  37. NEOLJ

    She doesn’t really need wriggle room on that point.

    THE EU have merely asked for “sufficient progress” on withdrawal matters before discussing future relationship.:-

    ” While an agreement on a future relationship between the Union and the United Kingdom as such can only be concluded once the United Kingdom has become a third country, Article 50 TEU requires to take account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union in the arrangements for withdrawal. To this end, an overall understanding on the framework for the future relationship could be identified during a second phase of the negotiations under Article 50. The Union and its Member States stand ready to engage in preliminary and preparatory discussions to this end in the context of negotiations under Article 50 TEU, as soon as While an agreement on a future relationship between the Union and the United Kingdom as such can only be concluded once the United Kingdom has become a third country, Article 50 TEU requires to take account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union in the arrangements for withdrawal. To this end, an overall understanding on the framework for the future relationship could be identified during a second phase of the negotiations under Article 50. The Union and its Member States stand ready to engage in preliminary and preparatory discussions to this end in the context of negotiations under Article 50 TEU, as soon as sufficient progress has been made in the first phase towards reaching a satisfactory agreement on the arrangements for an orderly withdrawal. has been made in the first phase towards reaching a satisfactory agreement on the arrangements for an orderly withdrawal.”

    From -European Council (Art. 50) (29 April 2017) Draft guidelines following the United Kingdom’s notification under Article 50 TEU.

  38. As to “No trade deal, No payment”… that may work or it may be the road to ruin.

    If the UK welches on it’s (legally obligated) dues, for the sake of playing to the gallery, it could end up with a Zimbabwean credit rating. And if that happens – or even something just resembling it – then this will be the last Conservatve general election victory for one hundred years!

    For me, an economic policy based on such and so many “ifs” is simply wrong headed. May needs to be more pragmatic and stop reading the papers.

  39. S Thomas Peter Crawford

    Food banks give food for vouchers issued by health professionals, social workers, etc.

    I think your comments revealed a lot about yourselves.

  40. Peter Cairns SNP

    Just look at the Tory leads on best leader, best to run the economy, and best to negotiate a deal with the EU. That was behind my comments. If you think those leads are going to change dramatically before the election then we disagree.

    Colin

    Like you i am waiting for the manifesto and like you i hope there is more in it than we have heard so far.

    Neil J

    I listened to the Marr interview again and i stick by what I posted earlier. I think she will not agree any money until we agree a total deal. If no trade deal I suspect no money. I don’t think she needs wriggle room, i think she is quite clear on the EU negotiation.

  41. DAVID IN FRANCE

    ” it could end up with a Zimbabwean credit rating. ”

    I think that’s nonesense, what evidence do you have for that?

  42. The same kind of people who misuse Foodbanks, cheat Social Security, fiddle their expenses and dodge taxes.

    So let’s deal with them all by closing Food Banks, and abolishing Social security, expenses and income tax…..problem solved.

    It’s as easy as Brexit, if it doesn’t work as well as you like just get rid of it.

    Peter.

  43. The Labour numbers had been artificially suppressed since last summer when the PLP tried to get rid of Corbyn. We’ve effectively had two years of vilification of Corbyn by the MSM and establishment Labour. He survived. The general public who in general don’t pay that much attention to politics have superficially regarded Corbyn as toxic.

    But just before last year’s local election when the Labour party wasn’t actively tearing itself apart, there were three yougov polls which had Labour support on 31/33/34 – leading the Tories (mainly due to UKIPS pre-referendum surge). But those sort of numbers are indicative of Labours natural support.

    All that’s happened is that without a self imposed foot (sic) on it’s neck it’s returned to it’s natural level. That why I think polling level of 33/34% will be possible in the next two weeks.

    Whether they can get any higher though is the $64K question

  44. @ S Thomas

    Our local food bank only gives food to those who have been referred to it by an agency that has investigated their circumstances. I guess this is common practice.

  45. DAVID IN FRANCE

    @”If the UK welches on it’s (legally obligated) dues”

    I doubt very much whether “legally obligated” will be a factor.

    Everyone seems to acknowledge that A50 was drafted wothout ever thinking that it would be used.

    EU’s accounting systems are notorious for mixing up contractual committments to spend with budgetary intentions to do so.

    I think this so-called “divorce settlement” will be a matter of them trying it on as much as possible with forward expenditure “committments “& unfunded pension liabilities, whilst UK tries to use concessionary acceptance of some of it as leverage for future arrangement deals.

  46. Laszlo
    perhaps if we had rejection rates i might be able to gauge the accuracy of your comment.

    are those who

    a. smoke;
    b. subscribe to mobile phones;
    c. subscribe to sky
    d. drink

    excluded? Perhaps they ought not to be but surely any issue of morality ought to await the answer.

  47. On the Food banks issue I agree it is a sadness that they are needed and the need in increasing. Unfortunately this appears to be a common problem, German use of food banks is I believe substantially greater than ours and yet Germany is not a poor nation by any standards. I think May is correct that this is a far from simple problem. I suspect many of the poor have little or no idea how to prioratise their spending, just one of many factors.

  48. Food Banks.

    S Thomas and Peter Crawford are mistaken about food banks. They are not shops which just give you free stuff.

    You have to be referred there by a specific agency after giving proof that you really are in need.

    I’m amazed that they are actually needed in a so-called civilised country.

  49. We may also be getting a strange type of dynamic where events are shaping themselves around Labour policy.

    Well before the Brexit vote, Labour had pushed it’s 500 billion investment (i.e. 50 billion a year for 10 years) on Infrastructure, Council Houses, and National Investment Bank, which was panned by the media (although not by economists).

    With the uncertainties around Brexit and the likely disruption to the economy caused by those uncertainties, Labour now have a ready made stimulus package to counter the negative effects of Brexit. All they need is a slick salesman …..

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