I posted about this on the YouGov website earlier this week, but wanted to note it here too. A YouGov poll this week we asked about people’s opinions on the result of the 2010 election in hindsight. Do people think Labour deserved to lose, did the Conservatives deserve to come top, and would rather that Labour had won?

Firstly, YouGov asked whether people thought that Labour did indeed deserve to lose the election – 59% of people think that the did deserve to lose, 34% disagreed (this was, as you might expect, a largely partisan answer, although 16% of people who said they voted Labour in 2010 also said they deserved to lose. This is not necessarily an illogical stance to take; one might well think that a government has run its course and deserves to lose, but want to maximise their representation in opposition and prevent them losing too many seats).

The other side of the coin is whether people think the Conservatives deserved to come first in the General Election. Here only 38% of people agreed, while 53% disagreed. Unsurprisingly the vast majority of people who voted Tory in 2010 said the party deserved to come top (though 9% disagreed, and were presumably voting for the least worst option), majorities of Labour and Lib Dem voters thought the Tories did not deserve to come top.

Putting these together YouGov asked whether people thought that “with the benefit of hindsight and thinking about all that has happened since” it would have been better if Labour had won. 34% of people think it would have been better for the country had Labour won, 38% think the Coalition has done better job for the country than Labour would have.

In the same survey YouGov asked who people most trusted to make the right decisions about dealing with the government’s deficit. 38% picked the coalition to 29% for Labour, with 22% saying neither. This is interesting, considering other polls are now pretty consistent in showing that a majority of people think the government are cutting too fast, too deep or too unfairly – it’s a reminder than while people may be unhappy with the incumbent’s policy on an issue, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they automatically trust the alternatives to do better.

Tonight’s daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%. A slightly smaller Labour lead by the standards of the last week or so, but well within the normal margin of error if the underlying position is around about an eight point lead.

Meanwhile there is also an Angus Reid poll of voting intention in the AV Referendum out. With changes from a fortnight ago it shows YES at 37%(nc), NO at 22%(+1). There’s no sign of the shift towards the YES camp that ComRes and YouGov picked up recently. Angus Reid use the referendum wording in their question, in the same way as ComRes and ICM do. I’m not certain why they show a significantly lower proportion of NOs than the other companies.,


YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 45%, LD 10%, a repeat of the 10 point Labour lead we saw at the weekend.

Labour’s lead over the Conservatives in the daily YouGov polls certainly seems to be creeping ever upwards, from a lead of around three points in December, to around five points in January, to around seven points in early February, it would now appear to be averaging around 8 or 9.

(Meanwhile, for people as geeky as me, the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill is back to the Lords at 10.30pm for the next round of Parliamentary ping-pong)

There is a new ComRes poll on the Alternative Vote for Newsnight tonight, which – in response to the question on the ballot paper – has YES and NO equal on 41%. This is in contrast to other polls asking the bare referendum question, which have tended to show AV ahead (indeed, the most recent ComRes poll conducted three days before this one had a ten point lead for AV).

What’s the reason for the difference? My guess is that it is because in this poll the referendum question appears to have been prefaced by four statements giving some pro- and anti- arguments that are likely to be used in the campaign, and perhaps exposure to these moved people against AV. Certainly, the proportion of don’t knows was much lower than ComRes normally find, and the NO statements used met with more agreement than the YES ones – 65% agreed that the system of electing MPs needed overhauling, but only 38% agreed that having more coalition governments would be good. 63% agreed the referendum was a waste of money, 81% agreed that people’s first preference votes should count more than other people’s 2nd, 3rd or 4th preferences.

It’s also possible that the difference is because this was a phone poll, rather than online, or perhaps because the poll wasn’t politically weighted (ComRes often don’t use political weighting on polls without voting intention questions, though I’m not certain on this one), but my guess is that it is due to the statements prefacing it.

Of course, theoretically it’s possible that loads of don’t knows made their mind up to vote NO at the end of last week, but I suspect that isn’t the case. Note that the poll was conducted over the weekend, so before the NO campaign’s launch this week and their focus upon the cost of the referendum.

There is a new MORI poll of Scottish voting intentions in the Times tomorrow (£) that shows the SNP ahead in Holyrood voting intentions. Full topline figures with changes from MORI’s last Scottish poll in November are:

Holyrood constituency: CON 13%(nc), LAB 36%(-5), LDEM 10%(-1), SNP 37%(+6)
Holyrood regional: CON 13%(+1), LAB 33%(-3), LDEM 10%(+1), SNP 35%(+3), Greens 6%.

These are something of a turnaround for the SNP – Scottish polling has been thin on the ground since the general election, but has until now been pretty consistent in showing Labour ahead. The Times article has seat projections based on these figures from John Curtice, which have the SNP with 51 seats, Labour with 48, the Conservatives with 14, the Lib Dems with 12 and the Greens with 4.

UPDATE: Full details are now available from MORI here. I have amended the Lib Dem figure for the regional voting intention, which is in fact 10%. By my estimate this changes the seat projection to SNP 50, LAB 47, CON 15, LDEM 12, GRN 4, IND 1.