There is a startling YouGov poll in tomorrow’s Sunday Times. The topline figures, with changes from Thursday, are CON 37%(-2), LAB 35%(+2) (this is from the News of the World which doesn’t have the Lib Dem figure). The 2 point lead is the smallest YouGov have recorded since the election-that-never-was back in 2007 and if repeated at a general election would leave Labour comfortably the largest party in a hung Parliament.

The poll will no doubt send a shiver through the Conservatives (and perhaps tempt Gordon Brown towards calling a general election, though the speculation over a March 25th election would require the dissolution of Parliament on Monday, and a “wash up” period for outstanding legislation of only a single day seems exceptionally unlikely. The early election rumour de jour now seems to have shifted to April.).

The question people are likely to ask is whether it is real. Well, the changes from the previous poll are well within the margin of error. YouGov’s polls this week have been very consistent in showing a 6 point lead, and these figures are actually within the margins of error of a true position of CON 38%-39%, LAB 32%-33%, which has been the position all this week. It could just be sample variation – or it could be a further narrowing of the lead. With just a single poll, it’s impossible to tell. All I can say is what I always say when a poll shows sharp movement – until we see some more polls that support or contradict the further narrowing of the polls – be wary.

With a poll like this I expect there to be a lot of rather, erm, excitable discussion, there is a second open thread here for all your gloating, yelling, arguing, ranting and hair-pulling needs, while the normal comments policy will apply here for non-partisan discussion of the poll itself.

UPDATE: The Lib Dems are on 17% and the full tables are here


There are two discussion threads for the new poll – please keep partisan arguments, whoops of delight and furious rants of despair to this one. Sensible non-partisan discussion of the poll is welcomed in the main thread :)


Scotland on Sunday has a new YouGov poll of Scottish voting intentions tomorrow that shows Labour opening up a large lead over the SNP in Westminster voting intentions. The topline figures are CON 20%, LAB 38%, LDEM 15%, SNP 21%. Note that while the Scottish editions of the Sun have for the past couple of weeks been running figures based upon the aggregated and weighted Scottish data from the Sun’s daily YouGov polls, this was a dedicated full sized Scottish poll (though the smaller Scottish polls for the Scottish Sun have painted a very similar picture – Labour right up, with the SNP down close to the Conservatives).

Holyrood constituency figures are CON 16%, LAB 33%, LDEM 16%, SNP 28% – the article doesn’t refer to any Holyrood regional voting intentions. For what I think is the first time since he became First Minister Alex Salmond’s approval ratings have slipped into negative territory, with 36% thinking he is doing a good job and 38% a bad job.

There is as yet no sign of today’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll.


Open thread

Tonight is our day off from the YouGov daily polling and I’m not expecting any other polls overnight. It’s been a while since I’ve had an open thread, and I’m having to moderate a lot of partisan arguments on the normal threads as the polls tighten. So, the comment policy is suspended here for you all to have party political arguments (the quid pro quo is that you all stick to the policy on the other threads!)


Over the last week we’ve had no fewer than five YouGov polls showing the Conservative lead shrinking to only six points, but apart from a 7 point lead from ICM we haven’t had much from other pollsters to see if they are picking up the same trend – Angus Reid tend to show very different Labour figures anyway, and we have no recent historical trend data from Harris to compare.

Tomorrow’s Telegraph however carries the figures from a new Ipsos-MORI poll that shows a very similar lead to YouGov. The topline figures are CON 37%(-3), LAB 32%(nc), LDEM 19%(+3). We have to go all the way back to December 2008 to find a Tory lead as low as five points.

The poll was conducted between Friday and Monday last weekend.