The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is up here. Topline voting intentions are CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12% – a five point Labour lead, typical of the sort of leads we were seeing before that brief post-budget narrowing.
In addition to Westminster VI, YouGov also asked European voting intention again to see if there had been an impact from the Farage-Clegg debate. Last week we didn’t really see any effect. This week with the higher profile BBC debate (and the more convincing win for Farage) it appears to be a different case.
Up until now YouGov’s European polls have been showing Labour leading with the Conservatives and UKIP in a tight battle for second place. In today’s poll Labour are just two points ahead of UKIP, and UKIP have opened up a five point lead over the Conservatives in third place: CON 23%(-1), LAB 30%(-2), LDEM 9%(-2), UKIP 28%(+5).
If you took only those certain to vote the position would be even better for UKIP, putting them in first place on 34% to Labour’s 27% and the Conservatives in a distant third. Of course, that’s quite a harsh turnout filter and people are not necessarily very good at predicting turnout this far out (especially when it’s the same day as local elections) – the key point is that UKIP voters are significantly more likely to say they’ll turnout to vote in the European elections than supporters of the other three parties, which will benefit them to some extent.
While the poll suggests UKIP have benefited from the debate in terms of European election voting intention, it hasn’t moved attitudes to the EU at all (42% say they would vote to stay in, 37% to leave – almost unchanged from last week) and doesn’t seem to have had much effect on Westminster voting intentions either.
This morning’s YouGov/Sun poll has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13% – a six point lead for Labour (as was yesterday’s poll). After a week of narrower leads immediately following the budget it looks as though things have now reverted to the same sort of leads we were seeing before the budget*. Full tabs are here.
Meanwhile the twice-weekly Populus poll has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13% – also very much business as usual.
(*Meaning I don’t have to rip up my annual budgets rarely do anything positive for government popularity post. Was looking dicey for a bit there.)
There were two immediate post-debate polls tonight, YouGov for the Sun and ICM for the Guardian (I think Opinium may be doing one too, but not being published until tomorrow). Both called it as a convincing win for Nigel Farage. YouGov had 68% saying Farage performed better, 27% Clegg, 5% don’t know; ICM had 69% saying Farage performed better, 31% saying Clegg.
The Sun politics team have tweeted out tonight’s YouGov figures. Topline voting intentions are CON 33%, LAB 37%, LD 10%, UKIP 12%. The four point Labour lead follows a three point lead yesterday – together they are rather unenlightening. They would be within the normal margin of error of the average Labour leads of two points or so we saw last week, or could be a sign of that post-budget narrowing fading away again and things heading back towards leads of five or six points.
The weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll is out here. Topline voting intentions are CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%.
These would have been perfectly normal a fortnight ago, but contrast with the average Labour leads of two points or so that we’ve had for the last week. All the normal caveats apply – it could be a sign that the post-budget narrowing of the polls is coming to an end and things are headed back to the pre-budget situation, or it could just be random sample error, and next week’s polls will be back to leads of one or two points. Wait and see.
YouGov also asked about European election voting intention, and found figures of CON 24%, LAB 32%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 23%, GRN 5%. Labour remain in the lead (though more convincingly than mid-week), the Conservatives and UKIP remain in a tight race for second place (though this time it’s the Conservatives who are narrowly ahead). Voting intention in a referendum on leaving the EU remains at 42% stay, 36% leave – the same as before the Nick v Nigel debate.
Most of the rest of the poll dealt with comparisons between how Ed Miliband and David Cameron are seen as leaders. The pattern is a familiar one, and one I’ve discussed here many times before – Cameron is seen as stronger, more decisive, clearer about what he stands for and more up to the job of PM; Miliband is seen as more in touch with ordinary people. We can’t easily quantify how much this helps the Tories or damages Labour. Miliband had rubbish ratings last year too and that didn’t stop Labour enjoying 10+ leads in the polls so it is cleary not a complete road block to success… but then, neither is anything else. There is no one, single explanation to voting intention, no one, single thing that leads to failure or success. Parties have won elections with unpopular leaders, they have won elections when behind on the economy – these things do matter, but they are all part of a package and can be outweighted by other things.