I’m away from a computer tonight, so feel free to use this thread to discuss the daily YouGov figures when they appear. You probably don’t want to believe any rumours on Twitter about them ;)

To keep you busy until then, here are the tables for the other question in the YouGov/Sun poll last night. As well as the question asking how people saw Gordon Brown, which found 28% thinking him passionate, 27% tough… but 24% a bully and 40% bad tempered, there was also a question that asked directly about the “Bully Brown” allegations. 43% thought the claims were exaggerated or untrue, 22% thought they were true but did not mind a PM who sometimes went over the top, 21% thought they were true and that Brown’s behaviour was outrageous.

Finally confirmed – YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun is confirmed as showing topline figures of CON 39%(nc), LAB 33%(nc), LDEM 17%(nc). So no shift at all from the poll conducted on Friday – the figures reported last night elsewhere across the internet seem to have been based solely upon Twitter rumours – it does not, to say the least, seem to be a particularly sound source for polling info.

The poll was conducted between Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon, so entirely after Andrew Rawnsley allegations about “Bully Brown” had hit the media. So has, it clearly hasn’t damaged Labour though it is perhaps too early to conclude that it won’t – the story was still all over the media last night. One thing that daily polling may help us to understand over time is exactly the timescale over which events events impact voting intention.


The first of tonight’s two polls is out – ICM for the Guardian have topline figures of CON 37%(-2), LAB 30%(nc), LDEM 20%(nc). The poll was conducted between Friday and Sunday, so the majority would have been conducted before the “Bully Brown” story broke, and the overwhelming majority before the intervention of Christine Pratt made it into a really major story. The poll echoes the narrowing YouGov have shown since Brown’s interview with Piers Morgan.

It worth noting that while polls showing a narrowing of the Tory lead have become commonplace, this one is rather unusual in that the Tories are down and Labour are static. Despite the narrowing gap, almost all polls continue to show the Conservatives up around 39% – up to now the narrowing has overwhelmingly been due to a strong recovery from Labour since last autumn.

YouGov for the Sun will be out later. The fieldwork was conducted yesterday and today, so it will be post “Bully Brown”.

YouGov’s tables in the Sunday Times are now online here. As usual the Sunday Times asked about an interesting range of topics. Looking at the trackers and the economic figures first, Gordon Brown’s approval rating has jumped significantly – up to minus 21, its highest since April. David Cameron stands at plus 12, his lowest since February 2009. Asked how much they trusted each party to reduce government borrowing without endangering country’s recovery from recession, the two main parties were neck and neck: Brown and Darling were trusted by 31%, not trusted by 64%. Cameron and Osborne were trusted by 30%, not trusted by 63%. People’s impression of the current state of the economy had improved very slightly – 74% thought the economy at the moment was bad, down from 77% in January and the lowest since way back in June 2008. However, people were not particularly optimistic looking forward, with 51% saying it was likely that the country would slip back into recession this year.

YouGov also asked about Conservative and (rumored) Labour plans on social care, and found they had exactly the same levels of public support. 34% said they would support a 10% inheritance tax to pay for long term care, 34% supported the Conserivatives’ voluntary “insurance” scheme.

Asked about Gordon Brown’s interview with Piers Morgan, respondents were pretty evenly divided over whether this sort of interview was a good thing or not – 44% viewed politicians talking about their private lives positively, 48% negatively. Very few people however said Brown’s interview would make any difference to their vote. 10% said it made them more likely to vote Labour, 8% less likely. Regular readers will know my concerns over questions like this, and in this case I expect if the interview does have an effect on votes it would be an indirect effect of people generally being more open minded towards Gordon Brown, rather than a direct “He seems okay, maybe I’ll vote for him after all” effect.

Finally YouGov asked people what they thought the Liberal Democrats should do in the case of a hung Parliament where they could support either Labour or the Conservatives – should they form a coalition with Labour, the Conservatives, or remain in opposition (the question said form a coalition with, which isn’t really perfect since they are probably more likely to support a minority government, but there goes). The public as a whole split pretty evenly three ways, but the responses of party supporters are quite interesting – a large majority (72%) of Labour supporters would want the Lib Dems to form a coalition with Labour. Conservative supporters were slightly less enthusiastic, only 59% said the Lib Dems should back the Tories, with 29% preferring them to stay in oppostion. Amongst the Liberal Democrats own supporters 34% would like the party to back Labour, 33% to remain in opposition, and 22% to back the Conservatives.

Asked if there should be a second election in the event of a hung Parliament, 34% said yes, 53% said there should be a full length Parliament with the parties working together. Once again, there were interesting (if not wholly surprising) party splits. A majority (51%) of Tory supporters thought there should be a second election to try for a clear decision, a majority of Labour supporters (54%) thought there should be no further election, and an overwhelming majority (78%) of Liberal Democrat supporters thought there should be no second election.

This evening/tonight we will be getting the YouGov figures for today’s polling and ICM in the Guardian.

There is also a new ComRes poll out today, commissioned by pressure group Theos. The topline voting intention figures, with changes from their previous poll a week ago are CON 38%(-2), LAB 30%(+1), LDEM 20%(-1).

These two polls were either side of Gordon Brown’s interview with Piers Morgan, so the natural inference is that it did indeed help Labour. However, ComRes’s previous poll was a bit of an unusual creature – it had shown the Conservatives increasing their lead in the face of a wider trend of a narrowing lead, so this is probably just a reversion of that. With the exception of Angus Reid, all the polls are now floating around a Tory lead of about 8 points – with some lower (like YouGov yesterday), and some higher (like YouGov on Wednesday or Populus last week). That’s a significant narrowing from the ten point lead that seemed to be the norm a couple of months back, or last summer’s mid-teen leads.

As might be expected from a Theos poll, the other questions dealt with the role of religion in public life. 27% said they had no religion, 33% that their religion was cultural and didn’t really affect their lives. 22% said their religion was important and had some impact on their lives, 16% that it was very important and had significant affect upon their lives.

ComRes then asked which party people thought had been the most friendly towards particular religions over recent years. 21% thought the Conservatives had been closest to Christians, 20% Labour, 9% the Lib Dems. 36% thought Labour had been friendliest to Muslims compared to 10% for Conservatives and 7% for the Lib Dems.

If you look at the answers amongst the groups themselves, amongst Christians whose faith is of great importance to them (a very small sample of 144, but the ones who this is presumably most likely to make a difference to), the Conservatives lead 28% to 18% for Labour. Amongst the 100 Muslims in the sample 49% thought Labour had been most friendly to the Muslim faith, followed by 9% for the Lib Dems and 6% for the Conservatives.

Finally ComRes asked if people agreed with a series of statements – 32% agreed that religious freedoms had been restricted in Britian in recent years (opinions on this had a sharp religious skew, only 26% of people with no religion agreed, 52% of those whose religion was of great importance to them did). 31% of people thought that the law should prevent people from expressing religious views in the workplace (surprisingly opinions on did’t have much of a religious view – 28% of people whose religion was of great importance to them still agreed). 64% of people agreed that religious leaders like the Pope had a responsibility to speak out on issues they were concerned about and, finally, 42% agreed that “in a democracy, extreme political parties should be banned”.