YouGov’s monthly poll for the Telegraph has topline voting intention figures of CON 46%(-1), LAB 28%(+3), LDEM 15%(-3).

The 18 point Tory lead is the smallest YouGov have shown for a couple of months – since the local elections they have been consistently showing a lead of twenty points or more. Now Labour suddenly seem to be recovering… but at the expense of the Liberal Democrats. Up until now the Lib Dems have been quietly gathering support and have seen their share sneak up month on month, this seems like a rather sudden reverse; let’s wait and see if it is reflected in other companies polls.

23 Responses to “Tory lead drops back below 20 points”

  1. if you look at the top line voting it is some what exspected that the lib dem vote will go down beacuse they are not in the papers and on TV as much at the moment, i would say that looking at the conservative vote down one point that this may be a move in scotland towards the SNP and not a move towards labour in other areas of the country, but it dose come as a bit of a why question that the lib dem votes are turned on by brown and not clegg who is very much like cameron we will see in the next few polls if the lib dems are crashing but if thay are it will be intresting to see which way the votes split my guess is that the three points labour have picked up is a move by previous labour votes back to labour and in scotland an exspected move towards the SNP from the main party’s like conservative & labour, but a good poll for the conservatives not so good for labour or the lib dems.

  2. I would hazard to say that this poll result looks a but more sensible then other YouGov forecasts. However I would also caution any analysis with the possibility that this may just be a statistical outlier.

    Doubt is this will alter NBeale’s weighting in any great manner. We have to await next month’s polls before any trend can be ascertained.

  3. fluffy-

    your right in that respect and as i’ve also stated as well as others over the past month that poll’s with big leads do not normaly last but, like maney polls the effects of drift or statistical changes may also give a different view but the pattern is the same labour and conservative up slightly and lib dems down to almost every-body, but yes we will haveto wait until next month to see if this trend continues.

  4. I hardly think David Cameron would be panicking over this. It would need a trend like this over several months or even years, like that which got us to this point.

  5. The Henley by-election results and it seems Labour have come fifth behind the Greens and BNP. As if we don’t need any more signs of impending electoral disaster.

  6. WMA 46:26:17 – this is the first time since Feb that YouGov has (even very slightly) underestimated the C Lead, but it’s less than half a Standard Deviation and doesn’t really tell us much.

    The Henley result doesn’t exactly suggest that there is a big Labour revival at the expense of the LibDems. However since the beginning of the month the WMA Lab-LD gap has widened from 7 to 9 (WMA on 29/5 was 44:26:19 and this is the same as the Retrospectives at this point).

    I still think Labour are heading down towards 20 – their morale has collapsed and people are angry with Brown for being out of touch as well as everything else. But the landslip doesn’t seem to have started yet.

  7. The sad fact of the matter is that the progressive coalition that booted the tories out in 1997 is falling apart and the only party that has benefitted has been the tories. Liberal Democrats have been hitching their cart to the tory bandwagon but the tories will eat them up. Time for a new centre left party of left leaning liberals and social democrats in labour and time for Gordon Brown to do the right thing and call a general election.

  8. It’s interesting in light of Nick Robinson’s comments on the BBC last night. He suggested there will be a downturn in Tory support as they begin to announce policies which will inevitably displease some people. The Tories have so far benefitted from not being Labour but as he said their policies won’t please everyone and they are bound to see some of their lead shaved off. With possible deepening sleaze allegations against Spelman too he will need to act decisively. I think we will slowly see Labour nudge up to 30 – 33 but whether they can go beyond that who knows.

  9. Stephen

    Just a thought but maybe Nick Robinson is doing the best to retain his employment privileges. After Harman’s Equality [sic] Bill goes through, his career may well be over. :o

  10. The Henley result shows just how badly Labour have sunk in the safer Conservative areas of Southern England, e.g. here in Reigate they now (I think) have only one seat left on the Borough Council – even in their worst times in the 1970s they used to have 6 or 8 if I remember correctly.

    The real question is what is going to happen in the ordinary kind of fairly safe Labour seats all over England and Wales with majorities like 5 – 10,000 or even more. Present polls suggest that the Conservatives could win quite a lot of these – they need to win at least some of them to take an overall majority. If Labour concentrate their declining core of activists on the constituencies where their majority is below 5,000 or so, and the swing is big, then they will lose nearly all of those anyway, and in addition suffer a lot of unexpected losses too. The swing of 15,000 votes seen at Crewe and Nantwich, even if it’s an outlier with the loss of an admired Member’s personal vote, shows the danger faced by Labour MPs with quite big majorities.

    I don’t think it’s right to make precise arithmetical calculations of seats to be won based on shares of the vote, because it seems to me that there will be erratic local considerations and circumstances which mean that Labour could hang on unexpectedly in many place, but lose dramatically in scores of much safer ones. The day when the swingometer could give a pretty precise prediction off the first few results to come in is surely over?

  11. When looking for pearls of political wisdom, my first port of call more Mike Smithson than Nick Robinson.

  12. At least Nick Robinson isn’t Andrew Marr

  13. a left wing coalition,with what?this country is broke.10 years of regressive policies have spent the family silver.
    labour are left with a policy of increasing ethnic minorities in councils,rather than who is good for the job.they are obsessed with background,not ability,effective racism.
    then next time this lot look like being in power (20 years?) i am off to a civilised country.
    if ever coming behind bnp at henley!!

  14. YouGov actually showed the Conservative lead as 18% just before the local elections last month. Maybe what we have witnessed is a temporary “bounce” as a result of the momentum gained from Tory success in those polls and at Crewe and Nantwich, which saw the lead getting as high as 26%.
    It will be interesting to see if Labour’s performance in Henley has an effect on the next YouGov poll. If this poll is bad news for anyone, it’s the Liberal Democrats. YouGov put them on 24% at the last general election campaign, which was actually an overestimation.

  15. As ever I went straight to the Scottish sample, small as it is.

    Labour; 32%, Tory; 19%, LibDem 7%, SNP; 38%, Others 4% (of which the BNP are 2%, which is high for Scotland).

    I will be interesting to see if this is repeated in other polls. The SNP slightly ahead of Labour isn’t unexpected in terms of recent polls, nor is the Tories near 20%….

    But the LibDems on 7% is a real shocker, if that is repeated elsewhere it will be a real change.


  16. Just underlines why we need more proper Scottish Polls!

    I can’t beleve that they’ve fallen that low but there’s no doubt that they’re in real trouble. For the record, Martin Baxter’s Scotland predictor says that these levels of support would give the SNP 31 seats,Labour 22 and the Tories and the LD’s 3 each. The problem the LD’s have is that they’re not currently relevant. They’ve no prospect of being in power at Holyrood or Westminster and all the attention is on the other 3 parties. The best they can hope for in the GE is to try and limit the damage.

  17. My model gives SNP 28, LAB 22, LIB 0, CON 8. However, my model doesn’t take into account personal vote, and assumes that the speaker will be returned as speaker. Of course, the figures given are unrealistic for the Liberals, but I don’t think it’s too far away from the truth. I would place the Liberals at 9-11%, and maybe four seats.

    The Liberals are suffering an ultimate squeeze. A lot of Westminster support for the Liberals is shifting to the SNP, as the SNP are now a valid option, whereas before they were a “wasted vote”. The last Holyrood election, and the next Westminster election could well turn out to be re-alignment elections, with the Liberals moving down into fourth place, and the SNP and Tories taking their lost seats.

  18. It’s hard to say whether LibDems on 0 seats or Con on 8 is the more unbelieveable.

    I can see a reason why Labour might be losing support, I can even see a reason for LibDems losing support but I can’t see any reason why LibDems should lose proportionately much more of their previous vote than Labour. If that were to happen to the extent suggested in these projections the reason why it is happening should be very obvious.

    Unless someone can come up with some explanation as convincing as the explanation for the demise of the SSP, then I would reject that as improbable.


    How many BNP supporters does it take to move up from 1% to 2% in a small sample?

    I agree that the SNP ahead of Labour and the Cons not quite on 20% is credible. Do you think that the unpopularity of Labour is making it less unacceptable to admit to voting Tory, and that the actual vote may no longer show a significantly higher level of support than opinion polls?

    If so, and they make 20% and win two or three seats they should be very satisfied with that. The notion (expressed on these pages) that the UK leadership should castigate the Scottish party for failing if it doesn’t to a lot better than that shows a profound ignorance not only of recent history, but elementary arithmetic.

  19. John B,

    Given that 40% of the LibDem vote is in the 12 seats they hold at that includes Kennedy and Campbell they won’t lose all their seats any more than the Tories will get eight.

    The BNP thing probably doesn’t mean anything as it isn’t only a small sample but it could just be down to rounding from 1.4% to 1.6%.

    With a 4m electorate and 60% turnout that could be the difference between 35k and 37k votes, mind you that’s 37k to many for my liking.


  20. Right – getting away from desperate talk about Scotland (who cares if there are’nt many POLLS from there ??)- which really does’nt affect any party except Labour in achieving power in a national election. Maybe there are’nt many POLLS in Scotland because it’s irrelevant to the picture as a whole and not worth spending money on !! I have told you all time and time again that the Tories will win 12 seats there – the POLLSTERS have maybe seen my blogs on here and thought – sounds right to me !!!

    This latest YouGov POLL is just an evening out process – maybe YouGov are just letting the others catch up !

    The POLL i saw yesterday on the TV where only long term labour voters were interviewed and only 42% said they would vote Labour again must make for frightening news for Gordon Brown.

    Cameron was right this week to say that he would’nt be publicly criticizing Gordon Brown – because he is managing to destroy his own credibility himself – where does Brown turn up this week , not long after unveiling the Mandela statue in London , he now appears at the Mandela concert – to welcome a man who endorses Mugabe and helped Mugabe because they both came from a similar political background – mmmm. (i suppose that comment will have the reds under the bed stirring – predictable or what)!

    Secondly , i think the headlines this week about the new legislation on biased selection in jobs based on sex and colour splashed across the newspapers will not have gone down well with the voting public.

    As i predicted a month or so ago – in the next two years there will be so much crazy legislation put through before they go – it will be mind boggling – it will make for good headlines & another point down in the POLLS each time!

    Is this part of Gordons vision he mentioned at the end of last year ? “My vision is to destroy my credibility and that of the government – then you can make a statue of me one day”

    In case you missed my comments on another topic – i must repeat my biggest headline prediction – please cut and paste / The labour Party will break up just before or just after the next election & will not re-emerge again as a fighting force – the main part of the UK will eventually become a 2 party state – Conservative versus Liberal – cut and paste.

    When have i been wrong ??

  21. John B Dick
    The sample is small, the figures I’ve generated are unreliable. That’s been noted. The reason the Tories gain so many seats in that scenario is specifically because the Liberals drop so far. If the Liberals are up at 11%, then the Tories loose ~four of their seats to them.

    “I can’t see any reason why LibDems should lose proportionately much more of their previous vote than Labour.”

    The number of SNP supporters who vote Liberal at Westminster is proportionally higher than those SNP supporters who vote with Labour or the Tories. That would explain why the rise of the SNP is taking greater amounts from the Liberals than the other parties.

    I’m sure the fact that SNP and Scottish Liberals are politically similar (apart from the constitutional issue) helps too.

    I care if there haven’t been polls from Scotland. The English election story is all sewn up, the Scottish one is where it’s interesting.

    When have you been wrong? I remember you predicting a poll with Labour below 21%, before or on the day of an election (Local Government, Crewe and Nantwich, London, take your pick), but it didn’t happen. That’s when you’ve been wrong.

  22. Peter:

    That’s right. Where the LibDems win, incumbents are secure. Where they lose, and are not a close challenger, the usually lose badly.


    You said,

    “The number of SNP supporters who vote Liberal at Westminster is proportionally higher than those SNP supporters who vote with Labour or the Tories.”

    I am sure that is correct, but true SNP supporters are only a small proportion of the electorate, most of whom vote SNP at elections. Long-term Labour voters preferring the LibDems to the SNP will compensate for that.

    I envisage that there will be LibDem gains as well as losses because the Labour vote is imploding.

    John Curtice would not even rule out the possibility of the SNP taking Glasgow East.

    I’m not up to date on the socailists legal problems, but if Tommy Sheridan stands, almost any result is possible.

  23. The SNP in Argyll and Bute claim that in their telephone and doorstep canvassing they find many who vote LibDem to keep one of the other parties or Lab+Con out, but few or none who vote to put the LibDems in.

    That could explain both the rural incumbency and late surge effects.

    When LibDems show that they can or might deliver, their majority or perhaps even a second place is secure, and when it is clear that they can’t come anywhere near winning, their vote is insignificant and can be squeezed. In that sense a LibDem vote is indeed a wasted vote.