The full tabs for YouGov’s poll are now up here. The topline figures for the poll were positive for Labour, showing them ahead again (though it remains to be seen if that’s just a blip), but the rest of the poll is less so.

On leader ratings David Cameron has his best scores since June, with a net approval of minus 6. Ed Miliband’s score is minus 31 (from minus 32 last week). Nick Clegg’s ratings have slumped to their worst ever, with a net rating of minus 55 (largely, it seems because Conservative supporters are giving him a mich more negative rating).

On the Euro summit, 56% of people still think it was right for Cameron to use the veto (slightly, but not significantly, down from 58% straight after the summit). On whether people would vote to leave the EU in a referendum the result was 41% leave, 41% go – quite a sharp shift from recent polling that had up to 50% in favour of Britain leaving the EU.

This doesn’t seem to be a particular surge in pro-European feeling (other questions in the poll were repeats from earlier polls and didn’t show a massive shift). It may have just been the question ordering in this poll leading to a more considered response – the referendum question came after a bank of questions asking whether people think various areas should be the responsiblity of Britain, the EU or shared between them. Large majorities of people think that things like immigration, justice, defence and employment rights should be decided by Britain alone, but there is more appetite for the EU having a role in things like the environment, foriegn policy and trade rules.

The rest of the poll asked about the leaderships of Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband. Unsurprisingly in the wake of the European summit the Liberal Democrats are seem as having less influence on the coalition than the last time YouGov asked. In September 48% of people though that the Lib Dems had a lot or a little influence in government, that has now fallen to 39%, with 54% thinking they have not a lot or none. 41% of people now think the coalition will last another year or less, 38% think it will last until just before or right up until the next planned election in 2015.

On Nick Clegg’s leadership, people like Chris Huhne, Danny Alexander and Tim Farron are all seen as people who would make worse leaders than Clegg, although as one might expect, large propotions of people say they don’t know enough about these people to say (rendering questions like this of rather limited use except for well known politicians). Vince Cable is seen as someone who would be a better leader than Clegg by 22% of people, a worse leader by 23%.

Turning to Ed Miliband’s leadership, his ratings have actually improved slightly since September, though overall they remain very poor. 21% of people think he has provided an effective opposition (up from 18% in September), 23% think he has made it clear what he stands for (up from 19% in September), 20% think he would be up to the job of Prime Minister (up from 19% in September). The perception that he is too close to the trade unions has grown however, 26% now think Miliband is too close to the unions, compared to 19% in September. Asked if Miliband is strong or weak, 14% think he is strong, 44% weak, 28% neither.

Of course, one expects negative ratings from opponents – with questions like this it is often more what a leader’s own supporters think that counts. Even amongst Labour voters, however, Miliband’s figures are mediocre – 43% of Labour supporters think he has provided an effective opposition, 46% that he’s been clear what he stands for, 48% that he would be up to the job of PM, 34% that he is a strong leader.

In questions about whether alternate leaders would be better or worse than Miliband, Ed Balls was seen as likely to make a worse leader, Yvette Cooper and Jim Murphy were seen as worse (but both had high don’t knows), David Miliband was seen as someone who would be a better leader by 41% of people (and 41% of Labour voters), compared to 10% who think he’d be worse. Whether Labour really could oust a leader and replace him with his brother without it looking irredeemably odd is an interesting question, although when YouGov asked directly about whether it was right for Ed Miliband to challenge his brother in the first place 58% thought there was nothing wrong with it.

Finally on Ed, YouGov asked if Ed Miliband was ever likely to be Prime Minister. Only 17% of people think it is likely, 69% unlikely. Amongst Labour party voters 52% think it is unlikely Miliband will ever be Prime Minister. The kindest thing one can say about Miliband’s ratings is that they are moving in the right direction and he does at least have time on his side… but not an infinite amount of it.

Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%. It’s the first time a poll has shown Labour back in the lead since the Conservatives moved ahead in the polls after the veto. Usual caveats apply – it could be that the brief Conservative boost in the polls has now started to recede… or it could be an outlier. Certainly today’s ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph (see post below) showing a six point Tory lead doesn’t suggest that the veto bounce is subsiding. We’ll have a better idea next week when we see both the YouGov daily polls for the Sun, plus the monthly Populus poll for the Times (and possibly the ICM/Guardian poll, assuming they aren’t going to do it over Christmas weekend!).

While I am here, I expect less frequent visitors will be asking why there is such a difference between ICM and YouGov’s figures, or more specifically, why there is such a difference between their Labour figures, as their figures for Conservatives support are almost identical. While some of this is probably normal random variation, and either an outlier against Labour from ICM or an outlier in favour of Labour from YouGov (or both!), part of this is also due to methodological differences. The most important of these are that ICM weights people by their likelihood to vote while YouGov does not, and YouGov ignores people who say they don’t know how they will vote while ICM reallocates a proportion of them based on how their voted at the 2010 election. There may also be less quantifiable differences in their weighting and sampling, but the upshot is that ICM tend to show some of the worst scores for Labour of all the polling companies, while YouGov tend to show some of their better scores (and the opposite with the Lib Dems – ICM invariably give the Lib Dems their best scores, YouGov tend to give them their worst).

I’ll do a full report on rest of the questions in the YouGov/Sunday Times poll tomorrow.


There is an ICM poll in tomorrow’s Sunday Telegraph with topline figures of CON 40%(+2), LAB 34%(-2), LDEM 14%(nc), Others 14%. Changes are from the last ICM poll at the end of November. Six points is the biggest Tory lead any pollster has shown since last November, and the biggest from ICM since June 2010.

ICM tend to show some of the better figures for the Conservatives (or more accurately, some of the least good figures for Labour, since a primary methodological difference is their reallocation of a proportion of don’t knows to the party they voted for last time, something that tends to help the Lib Dems and hurt Labour) – with YouGov showing a Tory lead of one of two points this week, it’s therefore not surprising that ICM would show an even larger lead.

Last night’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 41%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%, with the Conservative boost from the veto continue.

Yesterday’s Feltham and Heston by-election was a confortable Labour hold, with shares of Lab 54%, Conservative 28%, Lib Dem 6%, UKIP 5%. The two polls conducted prior to the by-election were both in the right ballpark – Survation had Labour on 53%, Conservatives 29%, Lib Dem 7% and UKIP 7%, so all well within the margin of error. The Populus (?) poll for Lord Ashcroft, conducted slightly early in the campaign than Survation, had figures of Labour 52%, Conservative 30%, Lib Dem 10% – so within the margin of error for Labour and Conservative but rather high for the Lib Dems.

Tonight’s YouGov/Sun poll has topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, echoing the 2 point Conservative lead we saw yesterday.

The full tables also include a repeat of YouGov’s regular tracker on perceptions of the party leaders’ qualities. The effect of the veto on they way people see David Cameron is obvious – the percentage of people thinking “sticks to what he believes in” applies to Cameron is up 13 points to 39%, “decisive” is up 9 points to 29%, strong is up 5 points to 24%. For what it’s worth the UKIP to Conservative switch doesn’t look as decisive as in yesterday’s poll, with UKIP on 5%.