YouGov’s monthly poll for the Telegraph has been released. The topline figures, with changes from the last YouGov poll a week ago, has topline figures of CON 41%(+1), LAB 27%(+2), LDEM 18%(-2).

Unlike ComRes in the week, this poll does not suggest any great boost for the Conservatives from their victory in Norwich North. In fact, my impression is actually that there’s no real change here – that drop in Lib Dem support merely puts them back where they normally are with YouGov, making last week’s 20% look like a bit of an outlier. It’s also worth noting that this is Labour’s highest score in a YouGov poll since the expenses scandal broke.

In the Telegraph’s report they concentrate upon the extreme negative rating for the government. Only 17% of people now approve of the government’s record, with 70% disapproving – a net approval rating of minus 53. The Telegraph seem to have focused on this because the dying Major government got the same figures in July 1996, a year before their annihilation. It’s worth noting however that this isn’t actually the worst this government have recorded – they managed minus 57 back in May. (For that matter, it’s not the worst Major recorded either!).

45 Responses to “14 point Tory lead in new Yougov poll”

  1. I think the Telegraph is indicating a 3% rise for the Tories, over a month ago.

  2. The surprise for me is that only just over half Lib-Dem supporters appear to support Nick Clegg as a prospective PM.

    The comparison (best PM vs party vote) is:

    Brown: 19% compared to 27%
    Cameron: 37% compared to 41%
    Clegg: 10% compared to 18%

    Leaders know that support within their own parties is key to healthy campaigning, especially come election time. In those stakes at least, Brown appears to have less to worry about than his LD counterpart.

  3. Misterdavid – bear in mind that the comparison isn’t that straightforward.

    18% of people who would vote would vote Liberal Democrat.
    10% of everybody thinks Nick Clegg would be the best PM.

  4. The polls do seem very consistent – I still think we will end up with a 53 seat Tory majority next year

  5. “making last week’s ( Lib Dems) 20% look like a bit of an outlier”

    More likely I think is this Labour 27% to be an outlier resulting in a lower score for the Lib Dems.

    Hopefully following polls will make the situation clearer. A 2 point rise for Labour at this point certainly does not make any sense to me.

  6. I would always trust Yougov over ComRes !

  7. So a 1% return to the Tories, 2% shifting Lib->Lab. All very steady as she goes really. Unless something major happens now, then I can’t see them changing much before the conference season. The key remains the secondary figures which unremittingly bad for Labour. Will be interesting to look at certainty to vote figures over the next few months. Some evidence that a lot of Labour support is buried there.

  8. “A 2 point rise for Labour at this point certainly does not make any sense to me.”

    I’m not so sure. I would have thought that Tory voters are more likely to be away at this time of year. If so, maybe all this 2% rise reflects is that it’s the holiday season. Also, 2% is really too small to be significant. If it’s another 2% next month, yes, that will be interesting. But I’ll guess that next month’s figure will be around 25,26 or 27% unless something important in the political world occurs.

  9. <>

    If this were so, there would be evidence of the effect in previous years – and there is not (accepting that we must ignore 2007 because of Blair’s resignation).

  10. Interesting that the fall in support for the others seems to have slowed dramatically, could this mark a long term shift?

  11. The good new for Labour is that its support seems to have bottomed out and will probably stay around the 26-28% mark into the general election. At one point there seemed a small but real chance that the Lib Dems might overtake Labour and push it down into 3rd place. That no longer seems a realistic possibility.

    Of course the bad new for Labour is, barring some extraordinary miraculous occurrence, there’s surely no hope at all now of winning the next GE.

  12. @ Plumbus

    If you look back to Anthony’s graph on “Others” after the last Euro elections, they had yet to fall from the 13-14% mark at this point afterwards; it doesn’t say that they “will” fall, but it isn’t a change from the pattern last time. Yet. Last time, it took until April/May for things to return to “normal”.

    @ James Ludlow

    Perhaps it’s just silly season: Parliament is in recess, not much news apart from where the leaders are going on holiday, etc, so little chance even for Brown to screw it up?

  13. On the basis of this poll , Labour has now made a 5 point recovery from its nadir of 22% in late May /early June. Should economic recovery gain momentum in coming months , I would fully expect to see a further 5 point gain to 32%

  14. On that basis the Tories have recovered by 4 points or so from their nadir of 37% so they should end up at 45% – that leaves 13-14% for the LD.

    I would not expect better economic news to necessarily have a positive effect on Tory ratings – indeed beyond some further erosion of ‘others’ they might do well to retain existing levels of support.

  16. I think 32% support for Labour is really top end. Remember they only got 35% or thereabouts in 2005. I think it would be possible if Brown wasn’t leader but I still think the Tories could actually poll at around 43% on the day given the historic under-reporting and a further percentage point or two increase.

    43:32:16 would actually give a Tory majority of 52 – very close to my long term prediction of 53 seats.

    I don’t think that any economic recovery will come in time to save the day for Labour – even if GDP returns to positive there is always a lag before the jobs and feel good come back.

  17. A scenario of 40: 32 : 19 is also entirely possible.

  18. Worth noting that in July of 1996, Labour lead over the Tories was 25 points, with them on 55%. The conservatives, for some reaosn, are no where near that kind of lead.

  19. Mike Smithson would give you a dunce’s hat for that Owen!

    Everyone remembers that the polls got it horribly wrong in 1992, but it doesn’t mean they immediately started getting it right since then. The lessons were learnt only very slowly.

    ICM’s polls during the 1992-1997 Parliament are largely comparable to todays, since ICM brought in reforms that successfully dealt with the problems of 1992 (past vote weighting, top-line adjustment, quasi-random sampling). In 1996 they were showing Labour leads in the mid teens.

    Other companies did not address the problems so well. So yes, Gallup were showing Labour leads of 20+ points in 1996. Unfortunately, they were still showing a Labour lead of 21 points in their eve-of-election poll, when Labour actually won by 13 points.

  20. There’s no question that we have not arrived at such a coherent public mood as the New Labour frenzy of the mid-90s. I don’t think we will ever reach that point, partly because the utter cynicism of the “New Labour revolution” has been illuminated by their subsequent behaviour in office. I don’t think Cameron would be interested in trying to generate the same sort of “Things Can Only Get Better” buzz because of the danger of anti-climax, and even if he did I don’t think the public would buy it.

    The other factor in the comparitive levels of support is Scotland. In the mid-90s Labour utterly dominated the Scots vote and this would have added substantially to their UK-wide lead over the Tories who barely registered there. Now Scotland has once again turned against the incumbent government but this time it is not the main opposition party that has benefited.

    The bottom line is that whatever people say about “not doing as well as they should”, the Tories are currently on course for a decent majority and I imagine they are perfectly happy with both the polls and with the general political outloook. The question to ask is, given that polling is the very definition of a zero-sum game (well, a 100% sum game) then if the Tories should be unhappy with the polls, who should be smiling instead?

  21. Better economic news — huh?

    Unemployment is continuing to rise. There will be job losses at Vauxhall with an outside chance of the whole operation being closed down. Strikes and job losses to continue at BA.

    QE according to some is a failure. The govt debt – the MASSIVE govt debt – still needs funding.

    Banks have still losses to declare – the housing market is not as benign (I am horrified to say) as those desperate to talk it up.

  22. I think all the opinion polls between now & Oct 2 could be redundant as soon as we know the outcome of the Irish vote.

    I for my part believe it could pass.

    If i am right and the treaty is passed,the ball really is with Cameron,he has the next GE in his own hands as far as i am concerned.

    I believe if Cameron gives the Uk a referendum regardless, he has already won the next GE with over 45% of the vote.

    It is a massive problem for DC,howver at least he has this UKIP voting block to woo,Labour have nobody.

    But will he do it?

  23. Rich,

    Not quite. The Poles and the Czecks have yet to ratify but I agree if they do then DC will have to be rather clearer on his strategy.

    However as I said before in another post I think his real trump card is the budget due to be agreed by 2012. He has a veto over that and could use it to achieve some significant change.

  24. Eh, sorry about the missing sssss in my comment above. I use a wireless keyboard and sometimes letters vanish into the eer … eher … ethe ….

  25. Interesting point about ICM in 1996. The 6 ICM polls between May and October 1996 showed Labour ahead by 15.5 points. They actuall won by 12.5 points.

    The last 6 ICM polls show the Tories ahead by 12.5 points. Assuming that this is reflected in the GE (Tory vote underestimated etc) it could lead to a result of 41.5:28.5:20

    This would give the Tories a majority of 62.

    I can’t see the Tories achieving the 1997 majority of 179 seats but at end of the day they can come in with a majority of 140 less and still form a robust government.

  26. The Lib Dems are going to be squeezed at the General Election.

  27. squeezed the lib dem will be squeezed alot 17-18% at the election and big torie gains from them in the south and south west and some losses in the north and scotland, tories to make a majority on this months figues of 86 seats, also im seeing apattern of lib dem to conservative as well as labour to conservative of all thing so it could be one of those nights come election night.

    AT ELECTION NIGHT prediction only

    CON 43-45%
    LAB 22-24%
    LD 16-18%
    OTH 19-13%

  28. Look at real polling check last weeks local election results, real topsy turvy to any of the above predictions…..the Tories lose seats to Labour, Ukip and Lib Dems gain seats from Labour,
    Anything can happen in the next 10 months.

  29. Last 11 polls since 25th June all range:
    Cons 38-42
    Lab – 24-27 (plus one at 23)
    LD 17-20 (plus one at 22 when Lab got 23).
    The Lab 23/LD 22 is out of step and the rest show a settled pictureand agree within moe.
    Tories around 40, Lab 25 and LD under 20.
    Need Conf season, maybe Irish Lisbon vote and PBR before any direction likely, baring any events (as in deer boy).
    Labour could get a slight summer lift but it will not mean anything.

  30. The Lisbon vote (a.k.a. Constitution vote Mk. IV) could be interesting; will it save Cameron the bother of declaring his hand fully over referenda, or force his hand? But the Poles and Czechs are yet to sign (I believe), so he has some cover-story, I suppose.

    @Bill Furness

    “Anything can happen in the next 10 months.” And Martians might invade. Your point?

  31. There is evidence of a slight drift upwards in the Labour vote, as many predicted. This is a natural readjustment after a terrible period for them, but it’s hard to imagine this continuing indefinately. The figure of 32% was mentioned – possible, and it would make for a very interesting election, but unless Labour really gets its act together and Cameron starts making major errors its hard to imagine Labour only dropping 3% on 2005 with the underlying poll numbers as they are.

    One serious non party political point is the impact of a hung parliament or a weak Tory majority. I don’t buy into the argument that the debt problem will inevitably create a money market panic – if it was going to it would have happened already. The markets will back UK debt as long as they can see a clear path out of the problem. They have assumed a Tory victory, and will await to hear how Osborne intends to plug the gap. My personal view is that his natural instincts are entirely wrong, they are aiming at many of the wrong targets, and a Tory government based on cutting spending will rapidly return us to the days of underfunded public services and infrastructure that will have a negative economic impact for years to come, while leaving alone the whole taxation system, the root cause of the problem. Reversing the 50% rate and playing around with inheritance tax are silly diversions that have absolutely no relevance to the problem. The one thing that is sorely needed is an aggressive rebalancing of the tax system to make it fair and efficient, along with cleverly thought out spending controls not inspired by outdated political idealogy. However, given my policy based objections to the Tories, even I would probably prefer a decent Cameron majority to either a hung parliament or a wafer thing majority – in these scenarios we might well see money markets panic and then all hell could break loose.

  32. Alec,
    When I suggested 32% as a not unlikely Labour figure, I was thinking in terms of the GB figure – 36 in 2005 – rather than the UK – 35 in 2005..It is also pretty close to what the Tories obtained at the last 3 elections. Frankly, winning 32% would not in my view be such a great achievement!

  33. James Ludlow

    ‘The good new for Labour is that its support seems to have bottomed out and will probably stay around the 26-28% mark into the general election. At one point there seemed a small but real chance that the Lib Dems might overtake Labour and push it down into 3rd place. That no longer seems a realistic possibility’

    Sorry James I disagree with that
    Lanour have only twice hit the dizzy heights of 27 in the past 2 months so they can’t stay 26-28 when they’re not even getting 28 in any polls – and polls ALWAYS overestimate Labour’s strength as they get less in actual elections

  34. Weighted Moving Average remains 40:25:19.

    It is now just 10 months until an election. Over the last 10 months the Conservatives have been on WMA 41 +/- 1.9 and Labour 28 +/- 4.0. The CLead has been a mean of 13 +/- 3.2.

    It is hard to see how this consistent lead is likely to be overturned. And in practice everyone in positions of inflience in the UK seems to expect a C win at the next election. Which is likely to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  35. a good bit in the mail today, it goes down the line of labour have lost the next election but have not lost with a landslide just yet mandleson is trying to limit the damage not save the election.










    there are 19 councils that could be gained by the tories, also in london there are all out elections and anything can happen so maybe more than that.

  36. Thanks for that analysis Stuart.

    As a Tory, I am actually braced for a small number of losses in the May 2010 local elections, assuming a General Election turnout on the same day.
    I think in London in particular there are a number of places where the Tories benefit from differential turnout in local elections.

    The national shares of the vote in 2006 were about 40% to 26%, so one could see some swing to Labour.
    However, perhaps it may actually encourage some split voting.

    Also, unless split voting happens, it is logical that the Tories could gain council wards off the Lib Dems who polled 27% in 2006.

    On the other hand, the Tories might gain a bit in certain places where they may be further ahead than in 2006.

    Not an easy one to predict.

    Redbridge, I’m actually worried could fall into NOC (discounting the fact that it already has because of defections over a row about replacing the leader), but comparing it to 2006 I think Labour could gain Mayfield ward in Ilford South, but the Tories might be able to snatch more seats in Hainault.

  37. Another poll expected tomorrow according to Tory party.

  38. @ Paul Brownout – I suspect that come the general election some of the disaffected Labour vote reflected in the polls will return to the party as voters bite the bullet and vote Labour on the day in a vain attempt to ward off a Tory victory or at least minimise losses. It won’t be many but probably enough to lift Labour’s result on the day by a couple of points. I could be wrong but that’s my feeling.

  39. A Conservative majority victory seems more than likely, given the polling averages- and consistant majority.


    The final Liberal settlement remains to be seen, however I sall venture that they shall struggle to hold onto anything more than 45-55 MPs, especially given that in Scotland alone they seem set to loose 250,000 odd voters at least- and lets not forget the local elections in Devon and Cornwall more widely.

    But lets be fair- they did manage to only make a net loss of 1 councellor in the local elections, and they do still seem to possess the ability to occasionally break past the 20% barrier- so clearly things arent quite fixed against possible improvements.

    Too early to specifically talk about the exact size of a Tory victory, but any victory would require more than 150 odd gains, so a tory majority of 1 would be a landslide in my book.

  40. Conservative Home reporting that Tories again doing very well in poll of top 30 marginals. It may explain why Labour has almost given up in the top c80 Tory targets now held by Labour.
    Tory 44%
    Lab 20%
    L D 18%

  41. I have to agree about the Lid Dems getting squeezed but I have to say I see it as a thoroughly deserved kicking for taking the electorate for mugs.

    Had they kept their promise of supporting a referendum we might even have had one by now and they would be enjoying the expected lift this deeply unpopular government should have provided.

    Whatever our views on Europe, all 3 major parties promised to give us the chance to express them and I think the Lib Dems are going to pay a heavy price in the next GE for not keeping their word.

  42. @Richard Manns

    “Richard Manns

    @ Plumbus

    If you look back to Anthony’s graph on “Others” after the last Euro elections, they had yet to fall from the 13-14% mark at this point afterwards; it doesn’t say that they “will” fall, but >>it isn’t a change from the pattern last time<< . Yet. Last time, it took until April/May for things to return to “normal”.”

    …erm, it self-evidently is, isn’t it?

  43. @Promsan

    The “others” group is 14% on this poll (add them up yourself). The graph shows 13-14%. This does not differ from this time after the last Euro elections.

  44. Dean Thomson

    I agree that the ScotLibDems are losing rather than gaining votes but whether it is as much as 250,000 and whether – even if that were so – it will make much difference is seats is not so simple.

    If I could see an explanation why the LibDems had done something which would cost them votes, I’d be inclined to believe it. It is beyond doubt that the Nationalists are doing well at the expense of Labour, and I can see reasons why this should be so, but not why they should be gaining from LibDems.

    The only explanation on offer is that there is almost no core ScotLibDem vote and the negative voter now perceives the SNP to be the more effective option.

    I’m not happy with that explanation as the sole reason, since it could only apply to those constituencies where the SNP are in second place, and possibly Argyll and Bute where the SNP are a well placed third and would win the seat if they get most of the votes the LibDem loses.

    The LibDems often improve their position nearer and at the actual vote because they are more in the public’s mind and because voters begin to consider the local options.

    If the Libdems are understated, which of the major parties is overstated?

  45. @Richard Manns

    It might be the same amount; but it’s not the same pattern… the graphs show this: in previous eurovision elections the percentages faded and fell; this time, they are sustained… the pattern is one where the period of decline is extended; and this time, extended long enough for it to be maintained as a new norm.