YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times has topline voting intention figures of CON 44%(-1), LAB 35%(+3), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 3%(-3). Changes are from the YouGov/Times polls in the week. The fieldwork was, as usual, conducted on Thursday afternoon and Friday, so was wholly after the Conservative manifesto launch (though, of course, before much of the media reporting and discussion of it)

The nine point Tory lead is the lowest we’ve seen so far this campaign, the first in single figures. As ever, one should be cautious of unusual polls and wait to see if the trend is backed up by other polls before getting either too excited or too panicked (depending upon one’s point of view!). Perhaps it could be that the Conservative manifesto and the coverage of the changes to care funding has knocked their support. Perhaps it’s just a continuation of the gradual narrowing of the Tory lead that we have been seeing anyway over recent weeks. Perhaps it’s just a bit of a outlier, and the next round of polls will go back to showing a larger Tory lead. Time will tell.

There is also supposedly a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday. No idea yet if that was after the manifesto launches and whether or not it will show a similar tightening.

UPDATE: No figures from the Survation poll yet, but according to the front page of the Mail on Sunday it was done after the manifesto launch and shows a Tory lead of 12 points.

UPDATE 2: The Survation figures are CON 46%, LAB 34%, LD 8%, UKIP 3%. Tabs are here. Changes are complicated – Survation’s previous poll had an 18 point lead, but that was conducted by telephone for Good Morning Britain, while this one is online. Survation’s last online poll using a comparable method was, I think, back in April, and had only an 11 point lead for the Tories.

816 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 44, LAB 35, LD 9, UKIP 3”

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  1. Mike – “if they really are holding steady at 47%, I wonder why they bothered with the panic u-turn today?”

    Mrs May reacts to the Tory press. Pretty much all her climbdowns have them at the root. See the sensible NI changes that affected mainly self-employed journalists who threw a strop for another example. It’s her achilles heel.

  2. Rich, but how big is the middle?

  3. I wonder if someone in the know (cough) could contrast ICM’s methodology with, say, YouGov’s and explain why one might be seen as more reliable than the other?

  4. The 6 point swing in the latest ICM poll is interesting. I wonder if this is going to carry on with othr polls? Even so it does look like the Tory care policy may have had some effect, but not enough to stop them winning with a comfortable majority.

    Personally I can see the polls narrowing slightly before the actual day, but nothing as big as this, not unless the torries have a another blunder.

  5. Nice one AW! re:Osborne

    as for ICM poll everyone knew labour is about 32-34 but important figure was whether the tory vote was weakening. Apparently not.

    We await the giveaway for tuesday. Any ideas?It must begin with the word “free”

    Free internet
    Free sky for over 60’s
    Free trident with every ……

  6. The ICM poll has a methodological change. It doesn’t offer UKIP as a choice for respondents in constituencies where UKIP doesn’t have a candidate.

  7. @RogerH “Obviously not a serious opinion poll – it’s self-selecting from an unrepresentative sample – but it’s perhaps significant because it illustrates the strength of party support on social media.”

    It is not significant. Not in the least bit. Not even in parallel universes.

    What is going on? For the last couple of days have IQs taken a serious nose dive?

    That site is the most moronic “polling” thing I have ever seen!

    Not a single constituency would be won by the Tories despite them polling in the mid 40s. And the only blue spot is being won in Surrey SW by the “National Health Action Party”!

  8. Laszlo

    That’s interesting. Would that have a huge effect on the outcome of the poll though? You would have thought that people would know if there was no UKIP candidate in their constituency. Or am I over-estimating the awareness of the average voter?

  9. A very encouraging ICM poll for the Tories. No sign of change in their VI despite the manifesto issues. If this is as bad as it gets for them, then we’re still looking a remarkably convincing landslide.

  10. Mike

    I don’t have the time to calculate the effect (probably there is not enough data on this anyway), but it forces the respondent to choose another party or DK.

    It may (but I don’t know) explain the holding up of the Tory vote share in contrast to the other two polls in the weekend.

  11. S Thomas, well free internet would be useful to many.

    When I was living on the edge and my benefits wouldn’t cover my net connection I felt isolated. I remember then more benefit stuff needed to be done that way or you had to phone, and usually phone credit was a luxury ( it wasn’t free to call).

    It perhaps would be good for us all to have a basic free service. 0.5mbit would be adequate for basic stuff .

  12. @mike

    Or am I over-estimating the awareness of the average voter?

    Yes. Im a political nerd (who isn’t on this site?) and i could’t tell you if UKIP are fielding a candidate in my constituency.

  13. @SEA CHANGE: “Not a single constituency would be won by the Tories despite them polling in the mid 40s”

    But why not? Because the Tories are obviously heavily under-represented on social media, where that site will be promoted. That is significant for traditional campaigning.

  14. I have said before, but in jest, that it would be a curious thing if the Tories were re-elected with the exact same fragile majority. I think I will say it again, without jest.

  15. @Lazlo I expect you are over estimating their awareness – I have to say I haven’t checked locally to see if UKIP or greens are standing, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

    What would be interesting to know is just how many of the CON voters in the sample would have voted UKIP if a candidate had been available. I doubt if it would be many, but perhaps enough to shift a percentage point?

  16. Laszlo – yes that would make sense, being forced to choose may make them pick Con rather than the (possibly?) more likely D/K.

    Reggieside – actually, I have no idea either! But I had assumed I would know if I was considering voting for that party. I’m almost certainly wrong though….

  17. “But worse than that, how are the last five years’ students going to feel having just clocked up 27k of debt?”


    Well yes, will they be angry at Labour or at Tories/LDs?

    If only there was a way of finding out?…

  18. Is it just me or is it a funny sort of socialism which advocates that the general taxpayer stumps up for:

    1.The children of rich parents to have free meals;

    2. The children of rich parents to have massive inheritances preserved

    3. The children of rich parents to have free university education before going into well paid jobs

    4. the wealthy to have a heating allowance regardless if they need it physically or financially

    5. the wealthy to have free TVlicences so that they are better able to afford Sky.

    Has this particular socialist sect got a name?

  19. You can’t both pay for care, and pass on an untouched estate to heirs.
    It is perhaps worth looking at what a “cap” on social care costs means, and some factors a consultation might cover.
    Assume £50,000 per annum residential care costs.
    The £100,000 retained in the estate (compared to about £20,000 now) means that for anyone with an estate smaller than £100,000, the care is free.
    Anyone with a larger estate pays that £50,000pa until their estate falls to £100,000.
    Allowing that retention is quite an expensive undertaking.
    Introducing a cap (say for the sake of argument £250,000) means that no-one will pay for their care for more than 5 years. [£250k chosen to add to £100k to match the inheritance tax threshold]
    But in practice the average stay in long-term care is I believe 2-3 years, so only a decreasing proportion of the people needing long-term care will be a burden on the state (and only those needing long-term care will be involved, so suggestions that 10,000,000 people will be affected by a “dementia” tax are nonsense. Potentially affected perhaps, a bit like the millions of eastern Europeans who might come here with free movement.)
    The real change is that care at home must also be paid for if provided by the state (rather than through some private use of funds, or by the invalid’s family members). A cap of £250,000 might mean paying for such care for many years, as the annual costs would be less than residential care, but again that would affect a decreasing number of people as the elderly invalids died.
    The purpose of that discussion is simply to say that providing a cap is not a desperately expensive step for the government, and providing the manifesto retained £100,000 is a more costly step than a cap. Someone with an estate of say £250,000 would pay £50,000pa for three years. Another with an estate of £150,000 would pay for only one year before the government picked up the tab. If that person also lived in care for three years, the government would pay for two of them. So the less well off get more help, but the heirs to more modest estates are hit proportionally more, while the larger estates benefit more from a cap, as otherwise they would have to continue paying longer.
    Reversing the approach so that the state did not recover the first year of care (and perhaps also paid for very long-term care, say over 5 years) might not actually cost much more, depending on the actual statistics of how long the elderly remain in care before they die, and the size of cap thought appropriate in the light of those figures.

  20. @Lazlo
    Do we know if the methodology change has definitely only just happened? There is a curious jump in the Tory lead by 4 points between 7th and 8th May reported by ICM. I know it might just be random variation but if the methodology change had happened 3 polls ago the gradient of the ICM line would be almost identical to the other pollsters when you subtract it back out.

  21. Brandin1

    It wan’t me :-).

    As I said, I can’t calculate the effect, but in constituencies where there is no UKIP candidates, respondents to the ICM poll are not offered the option of UKIP. It “could” have an effect on the headline figures.

    As to its importance – there was a Yougov blog on the difference between VI in general, and VI in your constituency.

  22. @ S THOMAS

    not sure, but I think its the same party that advocates the rich and companies pay more tax for these universal benefits too?

    Not sure what its got to do with polling though?

  23. @Phil
    ‘ I personally couldn’t vote for him as I remember the 1970s and the last labour govt we had with an agenda like this and the mess it got us into.. all these young people that seem to idolise him obviously jut weren’t around to see that or can’t remember it otherwise I suspect they wouldnt have the rose coloured specs on al the time. ‘

    Perhaps you have forgotten that the Tories were in power for half of the 1970s. Remember Ted Heath and the 3 Day Week?


    The deadline of nomination was on the 11th, so that change couldn’t have happened earlier. ICM said that they did it now.

  25. Again I broadly see opinio polls as accurate and any future movement reflects the fact support for Theresa May is a mile wide and inch deep.
    An anonymous invisible bland May presence or media absence will likely keep support but any physical fall, wobble, u turn, gaffe etc can lead to a volatile movement of votes.
    Ditto Corbyn fall, scandal, wobble, gaffe, u turn, etc. Although after two years intense media scrutiny, here diminishing returns may mean the impact is less significant.
    However, I am far from convinced a Get Corbyn on IRA links is going to have much impact between now and June 8.
    I suspect any Corbyn/IRA attack (which any posters here think is saved up for closing period of campaign) will at very best be deadcat tactic. It may totally misfire.
    If people can put aside their view of what the merits, rights, wrongs of the IRA bombing campaign in mainland Britain, the actual post 1999 political reality is that photos and newsclips with the Queen, British Prime Ministers, other foreign leaders, Hollywood celebs, DUP and UUP leaders just cancel out any photos with Corbyn. He may even be given credit for being visionary and calling it right earlier than the rest.
    There may be a legion of Theresa May pics with IRA leadership or speeches praising them between 1997 and 2015.
    I stress what people think should have happened and the political reality of what has happened need to be carefully separated in a non-partisan polling analysis site.
    Corbyn and others then of the ‘looney left’ circa 1983 set out a pitch which won the political argument (for better or worse) between a decade and two decades later.
    Has Crosby checked how many pics there are of Theresa May and former IRA leadership turned politicians ?
    Crosby may well be suggesting this is not a line to take.
    I bet he wants it to get back to ‘It’s the Brexit election’ but this message seems to have slipped through wobbly fingers.
    The Brexit argument was a winning one and if the Tories can get back to it, then they can still win big. The dementia tax and u turn wobble is neither strong nor stable – and can not be blamed on Juncker !

  26. “I wonder if someone in the know (cough) could contrast ICM’s methodology with, say, YouGov’s and explain why one might be seen as more reliable than the other?”


    If Yougov do more polls then they have more chance of influencing peeps through the polls and of even being a self-fulfilling prophecy…

  27. @Laszlo – apologies indeed it wasn’t, you were just replying

    It’s not scientific and well within MOE anyway,, but UKIP are -2 in that poll, perhaps substantially reflecting the deductions. If about half those minus 2 switch to CON then it would bring CON down 1% making them 46% (-2% in comparison with the previous poll).

    But that requires several hypothetical leaps…

  28. @RogerH, “But why not? Because the Tories are obviously heavily under-represented on social media, where that site will be promoted. That is significant for traditional campaigning.”

    It is not significant. Not even in campaigning terms. Something like 50,000 people has cast a vote on it and shared it amongst their friends who generally have the same voting intention or similar.

    Hence you get a totally meaningless result. Worse you have uninformed people staring at the election broadcast and can’t believe what is happening as the National Health Action Party gets 63 votes in Surrey SW and some Tory ex-colonel gets 29,000 votes. How did that happen they cry! Then there are marches that democracy has been stolen, everything is rigged etc. etc

  29. Alan Travis has tweeted:
    Guardian/ICM poll shows Tory lead in Labour marginals narrowing from 20 point lead 52-32 last week to 3 point 44-41 this week. Pre-U-turn.

  30. @S Thomas “Has this particular socialist sect got a name?”

    It’s called Statism.

  31. Bardin1

    Yes, its the heat its got to me.

    But on a general point how can you have a care system non chargeable at the point of delivery and have free movement of population. Will not care tourism occur?

    If i knew my mother could get full time care in the uk why would i not bring her here?

  32. @S Thomas

    “Free internet
    Free sky for over 60’s
    Free trident with every ……”


    It is indeed a battle over the free stuff at times. Every side has their magic money trees, they just don’t see it in themselves. But if we are non-partisan we can see wot the others miss!!

    Thus, one side has the magic money tree of stimulus. Spending in the economy pays for itself, because the money stimulates growth.*

    A typical money tree of the other side, would be how foreign aid pays for itself and gives more besides. Or how tax cuts might pay for themselves by peeps being more entrepreneurial or not bothering to engage in as much avoidance.

    Of course how well these trees work can depend on the detail of how used in practice. But trees abound, it’s a bit of a forest…

    *to be honest all sides use this one, especially QE but don’t necessarily shout about it.

  33. Until this poll ICM has not had Labour higher than 28% since last July. Moreover , it has tended historically to be the least favourable pollster for Labour going back as far as 1997.

  34. All govs are statist, but clearly right leaning may be seen as more economically liberal and less statist.

    The opposite of living in a statist society would be close to anarchism.

    Or should that be statistic??

  35. @rogerh
    “But why not? Because the Tories are obviously heavily under-represented on social media, ”

    They are most certainly NOT under represented on social media. They’re just running a personalised social media campaign, targetted solely at those people whose opinion is judged possible to be swayed.

    The hard core left wing activists won’t, on the whole, even be aware of the messages the Conservatives are sending – so they simply won’t be able to attack or debunk them.

    In contrast, the left are loudly and noisily proclaiming their opinions on the shared channels in social media, declaring it outrageous that anyone would even think of voting Tory.

    It didn’t work for the Remainers during Brexit, and it won’t work now. The quiet Tory voters will simply ignore the uncouth bullying style in the privacy of the polling booth.

  36. @ Mike
    The ICM/Guardian poll is big news if accurate.

  37. @S Thomas

    I don’t know why I am being apologist for this and I wont give my opinion here on free movement, , and as i say it’s probably for some other site but without being partisan I can think of answers – eg Free movement but not free entitlement – eg you can work here and even live here but unless you have UK citizenship you wil be charged for some public services.

    Or you agree reciprocal arrangements for cross border access

  38. Dave,
    I gather figures more like 72,000 had been touted for a cap by the report that looked into this, and that is th figure being talked around on the news just now. Quite a difference to your suggestion of 250,000. it seems May is refusing to comment, so the issue is far from settled.

    At 100,000 safeguarded and 72,000 cap, the state might even be making less money from this than now, and obviously the idea is raise a lot more than curently. Presumably it is envisioned that care rationing will be less what with more getting billed eventually.

  39. “Will not care tourism occur?”


    You can make money from tourists though. I bet we don’t even try to charge our health tourists for a trip seeing the sights round London after we’ve patched them up. It could be quite a loss leader…

  40. @ Rich

    I hope you didn’t think I was being serious! I’d find it hard to believe that your mates on FB would take it seriously either. No- Labour definitely won’t take Tatton- not sure about all the others :-)

    I did expect 47-31 but after this weekend I think just maybe it will be closer but no chance of anything other than a Tory majority basically because of the UKIP to Con movement.

  41. ICM poll

    The sample size is 2 014 and the unweighted base is 2 004. Typo?

  42. @MarkW

    Well, it might instead by corporatist. The corporates move in to hoover everything up. So there is order, but of the kind benefitting corporates.

    Libertarians consider this will be ok, because they think customers of corporates will have the consumer power to offset corporate power and can make corporates do our will via our buying decisions.

    This is fanciful, because they don’t take into account how we don’t have time to check the details of the all the companies behind all our purchases, corporates try and obfuscate the info. anyway, and may collude or buy each other out reducing our effective options to what suits corporates.

    And corporates might like to ensure a state continues, only that’s compliant with corporate interests. Alternatively if absence of the state leaves a power vacuum a dictator might rise up…

  43. ChrisR – looks like a typo to me. Tabs are definitely 2004

  44. Carfrew, It’s all going a bit too Rollerbally for me.

  45. @MarkW

    Yes!! The Corporate Wars!! You got it!…

  46. One of my favs.

  47. This whole issue of the NHS and social care costs is all smoke and mirrors and sticking plaster snyway whatever your politics. At the end of the day we have a system designed for a population of maybev40 to 50 million tops all living maybe mid 70s to early 80s at best. Instead we are over 70 million an counting and people can expect to live into their 90s now given a bit of luck. It was never designed wth this in mind. I don’t get why none of the parties tell the truth on this and just come clean that none of it s fit to purpose and we will just blunder along like this using it as a sort of football. I don’t get why one of them doesn’t come totally clean and tell us exactly how much it’s going to cost to fully fund the lot for the nextv20 yrs and present the electorate with choices of how to fund that and let us have a referendum on it. That way the people make the decision and we dont keep fudging it for yr after yr and actually sort the issue.

  48. barbazenzero,
    Had a look at the standard article. What I noticed is the suggestion that this U-turn was caused by internal objections within the conservative party, rather than external comment.

    I assume May intended this election to help avoid problems such as Hammond recently had trying to expand NI. Yet the attempt to so do using the manifesto has still been defeated by the party.

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