YouGov’s regular voting intention poll this week has topline figures of CON 40%(-3), LAB 41%(+2), LDEM 8%(nc). Fieldwork was on Monday and Tuesday and changes are since last week. Full tabs are here. The movement towards Labour here is likely to be just a reversion to the mean after an unusual outlier last week. As ever, one shouldn’t put too much weight on unusual movement in voting intention polls when there is no obvious reason to expect a change, more often than not they’ll turn out to just to random sample variation.

And, for the benefit of the weird 500 post mumsnet thread about why Labour are losing women, based on a crossbreak in last week’s poll than showed Labour dropping six points among women, Labour are back up by five points among women this week. Demographic crossbreaks in polls have smaller samples, hence are more volatile and can bounce about a lot from poll to poll, often producing strange things. In something as subtle as voting intention where a difference of a few points can change the picture completely the crossbreaks in individual polls are best just ignored. If you really want to look at the demographic breakdown of voting intention, look for trends across a large number of polls over a period of time and look for consistent change – don’t jump on a figure in a single poll that fits a convenient narrative.


1,008 Responses to “Latest YouGov poll is back to normality – CON 40%, LAB 41%, LDEM 8%”

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  1. Seems to provide some backing for those suggesting the last crop of polls contained some oddities.

  2. @Alec

    You are correct in your summary of the differences between the Tory and Labour proposals on social care. However, TW does have a valid point insofar as the opposing party will spin any change which costs anyone anything as an evil tax, whether on dying or dementia or anything elae.

    I was struck by a comment from Jess Phillips that she had old ladies living in council houses with no assets who were worried about paying the dementia tax.

    It may be good politics (on both sides) but it’s a lousy way to run a country.

  3. Yer wimmin are very flighty it seems.

  4. I see wrong to leave is back up to 46% (42% right to leave). I suspect that this correlates with voting intention in these random fluctuations..

  5. Ah well.

    This makes more sense. :-)

  6. In the YouGov poll CON x-break are net +43 ‘right to leave’ (VI or 2017 actual, even with the benefit of hindsight!!) so May is delivering on what her voters asked for and still want (despite the fantasy comments from Planet Remain on previous threads). Corbyn though?? You’d almost think he was a well known Eurosceptic who has always wanted to leave the EU in full?!?

    How well/badly shows both sides fairly unhappy. Remain (net 61), Leave (net 19) think negotiations going badly. Seems to have settled around these levels.

    Obviously the reasons are different but Remain don’t have a monopoly on thinking HMG’s negotiating approach is going badly.

    Very low expectations for May giving any clarity tomorrow. I hope to be proved wrong and she delivers the ‘take it or leave it’ offer she should have delivered in Oct. 1% chance though!

  7. Last time the London and Scotland sub samples were wierd. Here are the change to this poll:

    London

    Con 26 (+1)
    Lab 39 (+9)
    LD 5 (-1)
    WNV 8 (-1)
    DK 11(-11)

    Scotland

    Con 18 (-3)
    Lab 22 (+3)
    LD 5 (-1)
    SNP 28 (+5)
    WNV 8 (-1)
    DK 15 (-2)

  8. @ THE MONK / ALEC – Throughout history being born in the right place at the right time and to the right parents has been a ‘lottery’. Inequality can be split in many ways but the ‘intergenerational’ and ‘which parents’ is something within HMG’s power to address.

    The idea of a ‘Robin Hood’ tax on the winners of the lottery of birth seems like a good idea to me. Death and Dementia tax were both poorly executed and then destroyed by the opposition for political point scoring.

    IMHO the aging population issue is the third of the three major issues we face today (unsustainable current account deficit and low productivity being the other two).

    I’d also bring back means tested maintenance grants, bursaries for nurses, etc. Maybe CON saving that for nearer a GE? It is under review but not holding my breathe that they’ll do anything in a hurry. Maybe wait until 2020, switch out May (or at least Hammond) and attempt party re-branding then? I’d prefer they start now but n=1.

  9. @TW

    MHO the aging population issue is the third of the three major issues we face today (unsustainable current account deficit and low productivity being the other two).

    Surely our rapidly degrading environment should be in your top three?

  10. @TW

    I think you forget that TM is the Prime Minister of the UK, not just of Conservative activists.

    It is her job as Tory leader to satisfy Tory voters and if that’s all she wants to do then she can dissolve Parliament and invite someone who wants to actually serve the *whole country*, most of whom DID NOT vote Conservative, to do the job instead.

  11. CR

    Who would that be then comrade Corbyn who’s party got even less of the popular vote than May.

  12. TURK

    :-)

    But Comrade C is “satisfying” the Many Not the Few.

    Whereas Mrs M , being a Tory is “satisfying” Rich People ( and HARD Brexiteers of course )

  13. Still think a modest drift away from Labour over last half dozen or so polls with Cons share holding up and a tad higher VI by default of a lower turnout.

    In stead of a modest 1-2% Lab lead we are close to level pegging perhaps.

  14. Todays’ poll gives Labour +1, seems about the average of the last two months or so, polldrums

  15. I’ve updated my regional model with today’s poll.

    This is what it looks like:

    Con 301 (-17)
    Lab 282 (+20)
    LD 15 (+3)
    SNP 29 (-6)
    PC 3 (-1)
    Green 1 (-)
    Other 19 (+2)

    Con 25 seats short of a majority

    —————————————-

    Conservatives and Labour both look well short of a working majority. Tight as a Yorkshireman with their generosity wrung our of them.

    ***warning – any analysis in the current Brexit meltdown is likely to very wrong***

  16. Catmanjeff,

    “Surely our rapidly degrading environment should be in your top three?’

    No at all. As far as I am concerned our biggest problem by far and top of the list is;

    People who insist in trying to put our problems in a list!

    Peter.

  17. JIM JAM

    Overall Lab have drifted down a tad and Con stayed steady. All very quiet and almost static for a number of months now

  18. I have a growing feeling that the post Brexit battles that will dog us for decades.

    It will be between those who want to keep our laws and rules close to the EU’s for business continuity and because ours really wouldn’t need to be that different and those who want to change them just to be different.

    That means years of pain for the Tories as they will be by far the most split between the steady as she goes desires of business and their taking back control wing.

    Far from exorcising the ghost of Europe like he flying Dutchman they will be doomed to sail by it forever.

    I’ll contain the urge to laugh out loud!

    Peter.

  19. CATMANJEFF

    Interesting that your prediction gives the left an overall majority:

    Lab 282 + LD 15 + SNP 29 + PC 3 + Green 1 = 330

    Can’t see it being a rainbow coalition proper, but a sensible Lab should manage via C & S deals, which would keep them honest.

  20. @Barbazenzero

    Those numbers would mean no stable agreement could be easily made by any party.

    The negotiations would be very interesting!

  21. CATMANJEFF @ BZ

    Agreed, but an SNP C&S would probably be enough for day to day working if those numbers are anything like the actual result.

    If you’re roughly right now, I’d be surprised if Lab weren’t able to get a higher vote share in the campaign proper – if only because their visibility would rise, as it did last time.

  22. The ROC LD+Tory block plus DUP could still form a Government on those numbers.

    LDs would be king makers.

    If they go in to the GE leaning towards the Tories they would probably end up supporting Labour . Maybe they would say that over the weekend since polling day evidence has emerged that public services will end up like they are in Greece persuadeding them to support Anti-Austerity policies after all?

  23. Bonnybridge and Larbert Council by election – Transfer Report

    Nothing particularly surprising, but at least with having to go to the last round for the winner to get 50% of the vote, we get the maximum coverage of transfers from those determined to vote.

    Party : No of transferable votes (incl those transferred in by previous rounds) : Transferable votes as % of party vote

    UKIP : 26 : 74%
    SGP : 110 : 85%
    SLab : 430 : 51%

    Party : Destination of transferred votes

    UKIP : SNP 19% : SCon 31% : SLab 31% : SGP 19%
    SGP : SNP 49% : SCon 17% : SLab 34%
    SLab : SNP 62% : SCon 38%

  24. The Sun says Corbyn is a spy, that should shift the polls .

  25. Rather amusingly this poll, with its 8 point lead for Labour among women (Con lead by 6 points among men) was released at about the same time that the Independent published a piece headed “Why are women turning their backs on the Labour Party?”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/labour-party-women-support-decline-why-brexit-bullying-transgender-rights-a8213576.html

    based on last week’s YouGov (Con lead by 4 points among women and 3 points among men). Somehow I doubt we’ll see a follow-up article about Labour’s ‘men problem'[1]. Though given the ability of the commentariat to say completely opposite things to what they did last week, and then complain they are being bullied on Twitter if anyone points it out, it’s possible. Though we’d still be assured that it is all the fault of Jeremy Corbyn and the only solution is to give the writer’s ‘moderate’ mates all the top jobs, even though they’ve spent the last two and a half years stabbing him in the back.

    However it’s interesting how, while there has been much discussion of the effects of age differential in VI and support for Brexit, but little about gender. Labour doing better among women is fairly long-standing now – historically it was the other way round. Though older voters becoming more Tory should have helped reverse this, it obviously hasn’t.

    The difference on Brexit is more recent – Ashcroft found little significant gap – but has been fairly consistent for some time. One reason for the gender gaps may illustrated by another tracker question in this poll. While “Britain leaving the EU” is the most important issue among men, leading by 20 points, among women Health is one point ahead.

    [1] The other contrast between the coverage of the two polls is of course that while both were carried out Mon-Tue, the previous one with the Conservative lead (and dodgy subsamples) was released on Thursday and much hyped, this one is sneaked out on Friday with little if any notice. Some of this is the usual bias of news concentrating on the unusual rather than the true, but you can’t help thinking there is a lot of wishful thinking involved, from a media consensus with little love for Labour and none for Corbyn, who did the unforgivable last year and showed how little they know about the subject they are supposed to be experts in.

  26. Indictments issued against 13 Russian nationals over 2016 election interference.

    Here’s how they did it:

    – Posed as politically active Americans
    – Purchased political ads on social media
    – Recruited and paid real Americans to stage political rallies
    (CNN)

    Obviously doing the same thing in the UK (What other reason could there be for a Russian to pay £20,000 to have dinner with Ruth Davidson?)

    So how many of the posters on here are actually Russian agents posing as political activists to sow discord?

    My roubles [1] are on Alec and Trevor being a Russian double act.

    [1] Damn! Gave myself away there.

  27. I always hope that the media deals with polling in an intelligent and objective way, but seeing as much of the media push an agenda (or present the world as they would like us to see it) objectivity is lacking. This why I love ‘More of Less’ on Radio 4, sadly end of series. It seems rare that statistics in the news is a fair and reflection and often dodgy.

    Last weeks YG poll had all the hallmarks of an outlier from the off – strange sub samples and a major shift in VI, despite nothing going on to cause this. The fact that a few other pollsters went the the same was taken as partial confirmation.

    Let’s assume that if nothing has changed, random error can cause polls to shift up or down. If four go one way, it’s a bit like tossing a coin and getting heads four times in a row. It sometimes can occur quite by chance, and more frequently than people realise.

    Good advice is wait for the next one or two to see if it bounces back. At work I do various product tests. Sometimes I get an odd result. I don’t shout out about it, I check the test, redo it, maybe on other equipment and only if I can rule out equipment or human error in the error AND confirm the findings again, I don’t report it and put down to error.

  28. Correction

    I always hope that the media deals with polling in an intelligent and objective way, but seeing as much of the media push an agenda (or present the world as they would like us to see it) objectivity is lacking. This why I love ‘More of Less’ on Radio 4, sadly end of series. It seems rare that statistics in the news is a fair and reflection and often dodgy.

    Last weeks YG poll had all the hallmarks of an outlier from the off – strange sub samples and a major shift in VI, despite nothing going on to cause this. The fact that a few other pollsters went the the same was taken as partial confirmation.

    Let’s assume that if nothing has changed, random error can cause polls to shift up or down. If four go one way, it’s a bit like tossing a coin and getting heads four times in a row. It sometimes can occur quite by chance, and more frequently than people realise.

    Good advice is wait for the next one or two to see if it bounces back. At work I do various product tests. Sometimes I get an odd result. I don’t shout out about it, I check the test, redo it, maybe on other equipment and only if I can rule out equipment or human error AND confirm the findings again, I don’t report it and put down to error.

  29. The trend shows that there has indeed been a movement in the polls in the last couple of months, from a small but clear Labour lead to a neck-and-neck situation.

  30. CMJ,

    But the 4 in row rule is infallible.

    The 4 point Tory YG lead always looked at edge of moe and the Labour lose women meme unproven to say the least.

    That Labours’ support is a less firm, though, and as a consequence the narrow lead they have had for the last few month may have disappeared is not refuted by this single YG with a 1 point lead.

    tbh whether Lab lead is +/-3 matters little at this stage anyhow

  31. @Oldnat – just to let you know, the latest model runs now put The Beast From the East firmly back on track. Currently we could well see some exceptionally cold weather for late February, although it looks like it’s mainly hitting south and east England, rather than the north. It is suggesting a prolonged cold spell well into March though.

  32. Alec

    Thanks

    (That you are suggesting that the S & E of England will be enjoying Russian conditions does add a smidgeon more of concern about your sources. :-) )

    I have informed the FBI of my concerns, so you will be perfectly safe!

  33. Whether the legal case, to determine whether the UK has the unilateral right to withdraw A50, gets permission from the Inner House to proceed will be decided on Wednesday.

    http://www.scottishlegal.com/2018/02/16/bid-block-brexit-reaches-inner-house/?utm_content=bufferc12da&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  34. @JimJam

    The four in a row rule is rough and ready, but also very fallible.

    However, that needn’t fill anymore space here.

    It is very nip and tuck, that’s for sure!

  35. Good Evening everyone.
    Someone has tweeted that the Labour Party leader is as likely to have been paid some money by the Czech spy diplomat as he was to have taken money from Iran or appeared on Russia today as a speaker.

  36. @CMJ
    “random error can cause polls to shift up or down. If four go one way, it’s a bit like tossing a coin and getting heads four times in a row. It sometimes can occur quite by chance, and more frequently than people realise.”
    That’s an interesting analogy.
    Four heads in a row is about a 6% chance.
    The margin of error is usually taken to be about 3%.
    It can be defined for any desired confidence level, but typically 95% is chosen. This level is the probability that a margin of error around the reported percentage would include the “true” percentage. (Wiki).
    That means there is a 5% (1 in 20) chance that the true value is outside the range of the reported value plus or minus the MoE, only a little less likely than four heads in a row.

  37. CL 1945

    @”The Czechoslovak secret agent who met Jeremy Corbyn during the Eighties claimed last night that the Labour leader knew he was a spy and said the MP had supplied information to the Communist regime.”

    DT

    I doubt this will make any difference to JC’s Disciples.

  38. @Dave

    Four heads in a row is about a 6% chance.

    I used to play a lot games with dice in my youth.

    Sometimes I needed to roll a six, and it took ages.

    Sometimes I got two sixes straight away.

    So the overall probability may be 6%, but like buses, several can come at once (and sometimes they takes ages!).

    I know all about the 95% CI etc. Polls that exceed MOE overall should be about 1 in 20. That doesn’t mean you have nineteen ‘good’ polls, then get a ‘bad’ one. You may get three good, three bad then sixty good. It looks random short term, and only less random in the long run.

  39. Chris Lane
    Lol!
    ———————-

    Colin
    “I doubt this will make any difference to JC’s Disciples.”

    Probably true, but it’s the undecideds and lukewarm supporters who matter.
    ———————————
    G’night all.

  40. One wonders what information a 1980s Corbyn might have had that wasn’t generally available.

  41. Robin

    Indeed, one wonders what information a 2018 Corbyn might have that isn’t generally available.

  42. Well now, I’m not generally regarded as one of Corbyn’s Disciples, but for heavan’s sake – is this a real story?

    If the Eastern Bloc countries really were paying the likes of Corbyn for information during the cold war, then we can see why they lost. It’s not as if Corbs was at the beating heart of British power.

  43. Corbyn is a member of the Privy Council which means he would have been thoroughly vetted. Just shows up the desperation of the people trying to smear him. Also doesn’t reflect very well on them.

  44. colin

    “I doubt this will make any difference to JC’s Disciples.”

    Thought you were better than that.

    Would it not be reasonable to demand some proof before even thinking about such a comment?

  45. CMJ – 4 in a row is a rule of thumb and like all rules of thumb generally or usually applies.

    Besides that it is mine (and original Howard’s who may still be lurking) so it must be right.

  46. Us poll watchers will recall an improvement in Ed Milliband’s, approval ratings after the Daily mails attacks on his late father.

    I wonder of this (almost certain) nonsense from the Sun will help Corbyn.

  47. LizH

    “Corbyn is a member of the Privy Council”

    So is Sammy Wilson, so clear evidence that members of the Privy Council don’t necessarily know anything.

  48. BZ

    “CATMANJEFF

    Interesting that your prediction gives the left an overall majority:

    Lab 282 + LD 15 + SNP 29 + PC 3 + Green 1 = 330”

    strange definition of left

  49. see mine 640 pm Rachel, we seem to agree.

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