The daily figures from YouGov are CON 37%(-3), LAB 30%(+1), LDEM 21%(+3).

Short term changes are slightly surprising – the Lib Dems appear to have gained rather than Labour – but I expect that’s down to sample variation. The bigger picture is that Labour have reached 30% and the Conservative lead is down to 7 points. Obviously we’re down into hung Parliament territory here.

Before people get excited though, this is just the sort of conference boost we’d expect. Even without daily polling, polls that used to crop up on the middle of conference in past years showed the same sort of thing (last year YouGov had the Tories going from a 20 point lead before the Labour conference to a 10 point one straight afterwards). Most of the time they don’t last, and we should expect the Conservatives to benefit next week in exactly the same way that the Lib Dems and Labour have these past two weeks. The interesting thing would be if they didn’t.

Fieldwork for this poll began after Gordon Brown’s speech yesterday, but obviously many people would have answered it before they saw any coverage (and certainly before today’s newpaper coverage) so there might be more to come. On the other hand, for the Lib Dem conference their peak was the day after Nick Clegg’s speech, so this might well turn out to be Labour’s peak too (especially since their coverage now seems to have been swamped by negative stuff about the Sun endorsing the Conservatives). We’ll see tomorrow at 5.05pm.

The survey also repeated questions on Brown’s approval ratings and whether he should step down from earlier Daily surveys. His net approval is at minus 32, up from minus 37 before the speech. 47% of people think he should replaced as Labour leader, down from 50%.

On other questions, 59% thought that a referendum on AV would be a good idea. Asked how they would vote in such a referendum, 26% said they would vote for FPTP, 43% for AV.

41 Responses to “YouGov Daily figures – 37/30/21”

  1. I agree with Anthony that tomorrow’s poll figures will be more illuminating than today’s. Given the fieldwork timing these probably reflect Mandelson’s speech – or rather the subsequent reporting on it – more than Brown’s. The media seemed to react more favourably to Mandelson’s than Brown’s so I’d expect some of the gilt to come of the gingerbread in tomorrow’s poll.

    That said, something is hitting the Tory figures for the first time since the conference season (at least YouGov’s figures). Until now, the change in Tory lead has been down to the Lib-Lab split but now it’s the Tories who are suffering from Lib gains. I’m guessing that the Tory lead will be no more than 9 points going into their conference.

    And Tory policies will be under a lot more scrutiny from the media this year than ever before, so there is every possibility of a negative issue being surfaced that would leave the Tories no more than 9 points ahead after the conference season is over.

  2. What I think is interesting is the fact that 8 out of the seventeen polls so far this September have put the Conservatives below 40%. Indeed, seven of those sub-40% polls have come in the last week.

    There were only two sub-40% scores for the Conservatives in July and none in August (I’ll not mention June, as all major parties took a substantial hit then).

    Now I’ll accept that the media bonus for the Lib Dems and Labour is a significant factor in the Tories’ slippage. However, the first half of the year was exclusively 40%+ territory, as was the period stretching back to September 2008 (barring the fag-end 2008 Labour rally during the financial crisis).

    It seems that the dizzying heights of summer 2008, when 20%+ leads were being seen, are unlikely to be repeated. To secure a hung parliament, all Labour really has to do is keep a maximum 10-point distance between themselves and the Conservatives. On the basis of the campaign outline we have seen as a result of the Labour conference, the party has some undoubtedly tempting ideas.

    I’ll hazard that if the Tory Party conference does not deliver a sustained Tory lead of more than 10 points by the end of October, then there is everything to play for.

  3. It won’t happen, but I reckon that to swamp coverage of the Sun’s switch to the Tories (good riddance) Labour ought to announce more large policy ideas – one each day until the Tory conference. It’s the long overdue (from all parties) substantive policy details that have helped lift coverage of Labour these last few days.

    Perhaps putting the monarchy up for referendum could be a start, and promising to join the euro!

    Nothing better than a noisy discussion about policy to knock Murdoch’s self regarding, spiteful little tabloid off its pedestal.

  4. your point about tory party policy being under more scrutiney this year is good and it is time that the media started looking a tory policy as they seam to be stuck in the last conservative govenment at this point just looking at the old policy rather than the new ones, but brown did give an ok speach yesterday but as one reporter said it’s not a game changer and from the looks of things thats true, normal rules with conferance season is this party A say this and that and gets a boost, party B then say the oppisit, and party C, says that they are best net effect is that the polls go every where, until after the conferance season has finished, as always the small parties still have some of there confrance’s later on a small changes happen to the polls but within the margin of eror, october will be the telling month as this will show who is on top.

    i think looking at it for now the polls will settle on

    CON 42 LAB 26 LD 24 OTH 8

  5. I think rather impressively Labour has turned the Sun issue to its advantage – they look like principled fighters today! What this poll shows – whether the figures revert back next week or not – is that it is not all over for Labour. There are at least enough voters out there for them to get to 30% and given the electoral system a couple of points more and they could even end up as largest party.

    That possibility did not seem even conceivable a week ago. It may not happen but it demonstrates that they should not give up

  6. My guess is the real number is 39/29/20. Tories have to be happy that Labour are struggling to get to 30%.

    Friday’s poll will be interesting.

  7. The only point I would make is that there has been almost 2 weeks of unrelenting Tory bashing by the other 2 Parties where the Tory policies have been descibed and misrepresented in the most lurid terms.

    Cannot agee Paul that labour turned the Sun issue to their advantage today – they came out (Harman) especially looking like children having a tantrum.

  8. The fact that the best Labour can do is 30% shows that they are unlikely to be able to recover enough support to hold onto power in 7 months time. They could be down to 25% again once the Tory conference is over.

  9. The Tory figures look higher than expected given the 2 weeks of attacks from both LibDems & Labour & more importantly the fact Cameron has had such a low profile recently. Given these factors and the Sun switch I think if the Tories have a reasonable conference then Stuart Gregory’s figures look a realistic forecast subject to the Lib Dems dropping a little below your estimate.

    Paul your comments about how Labour has responded to the Sun switch look very strange. Have a look at the most recent internet newspaper articles and the adverse comments re Mandy’s & Harriot H’s reactions.

  10. How do people think the AV referendum will go down with the public? It might not sound like a huge vote winner but I know from experience when trying to talk to most people about politics you get the same old “politics is all rubbish, the system sucks” type answers. At least this gives Labour the opportunity to argue that they’re the party who want to do something about it (I accept that they’ve had 12 years to do it already and have already reneged on one commitment to a PR referendum back in 97 but the public have short memories).

    Politics has got all exciting again! Even if you believe that Labour is a lost cause and the Tories have it in the bag I still think yesterdays speech is going to mean the Conservatives have to start talking policies too now. At last we can debate something more relevant than “Does Brown have enough charisma to win an election?” or “Is Cameron too much of a toff to lead the country?” I can’t wait!

  11. Oh my word they must have done great trade at the fruit market today ,selling all those sour grapes to the Labour Party and its supporters

  12. Another quick question:- Are there any figures for what percentage of Sun readers actually vote Labour? I can’t make my mind up if I should consider the (long-expected)change of tac a huge cataclysm for Labour or a welcome release.

  13. I do think there is a rational explanation for the Lib Dem rise. The attacks on the Tories have had an effect ijn scraing some voters but their dislike of Labour and Brown is such that they will not switch to them but instead go to the Lib Dems.It must be something of that nature as the YouGov figures this evening on Brown are absolutely dire.

    These figures are a warning also to the Tories as it shows that the public need a whole lot of reassurance that they will not slash and burn public services. There seems on here to be a sort of acceptance that next week the Tories will get a bounce – they may well do – being a Tory I hope so. But I am far from confident as I have long believed that the only factor which can rob Cameron of victory is his own Party. They are his biggest danger and next week some of the Party are threatening to go head to head with him over Europe.

  14. How long before the electorate are reminded that the Sun ‘won it’ for the Tories in ’92 and we had Balck Wednesday 6 months later.
    Circulation and reader numbers are not what they were it will have minmal impact.

  15. @ Steven Wheeler – I don’t think AV is a “vote winner”. Although there’s obviously significant support for it, I don’t think it’s the sort of issue that will decide how most people vote. That is to say, people seem to like the idea but it’s not a top priority in itself. Even if it was, there’s also the question of whether voters trust Brown to deliver on his promise of a referendum. His evasion of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty doesn’t bode well for him there.

  16. WMA 39:28:21 so there seems to be a huge conference bounce. We can’t really see what’s happening until the conference season is over. I don’t see why the LibDems should be an artefact and Labour not so – 28% and 21% have much the same sampling errors.

    Over the last month we’ve gone from 42:26:18 to 39:28:21, so it’s -3:+2:+3. I still expect something more like 41:22:22 in the next 2-4 weeks, but it will be interesting to see.

  17. Taken in conjunction with the recent, surprising, Mori poll, thes YouGove figures would suggest there is a rise in LibDem support.

    Peter makes an interesting point about Lbaour attacks on the Tories benefitting the LibDems.

    We take into account the lag between events and changes in voting intention. It may take a day or two for people to think about a speech, and watch for media reactions.

  18. At least in these Yougov polls labour does seem to have taken a significant leap.

    All eyes now on whether the conservatives will be able to pull off something similar and restore pre-conference equilibrium.

    It has to be said that Messrs Cameron and Associates have been extremely quiet over the last few weeks (partially for obvious reasons). I just wonder whether they’ve been using the time wisely so they have a few blinders of their own to pull once it comes their chance in front of the media circus.

  19. The prospect of a hung parliament gives the poll an interesting dimension from an Irish perspective.

    In Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionist party, reduced to a single Westminster seat in 2005 by the surge of support for the DUP, were rebranded as Ulster Conservatives and Unionists New Force at the European election in May. While alienating their single MP who has refused to stand as a Tory, the branding seemed to work, their share rising as the DUP declined. Should they return to Westminster in 2010 with even a handful of MPs, they would sit with Cameron. Therefore, if the result looked tight, the Conservative and Unionist MPs would count towards the Tory total and not be part of the 18 that is always listed for Northern Ireland.

  20. With Brown throwing a hissy fit and leaving two interviews, that will get a backlash over the coming months.

  21. @Ian – “Should they return to Westminster in 2010 with even a handful of MPs, they would sit with Cameron”.

    And how interesting that would be! Sitting (and voting) with the self same Mr Cameron who says that Scotiish MPs shouldn’t vote on English affairs because they have their own administration. Now how would that nice, principled Mr Cameron explain that to the electorate? Presumably something along the lines of ‘but these people are my friends, so thats OK’, as he did with the expenses offenders?

  22. Ian,

    Isn’t the real working majority also less than is sometimes thought? Since Sinn Fein don’t take their seats, one can presumably knock a few off votes the opposition when considering governments vs. opposition voting power in Westminister.

  23. I’d like to see the referendum on the voting system on the same day as the GE. There’s a good chance of a ‘yes’ outcome and thet would be an interesting dilemma for the Tories if they formed the next government. On how things will shape up from now on, I’ve been surprised there’s been so llittle from Labour about the dangers of being governed by a bunch of over-privileged Old Etonians (can’t really expect much of this from the Libs as Clegg is one himself). I think that we will be getting quite a few digs at the Tories around this if they can find away to make the point without being accused of engaging in class warfare!

  24. The farcical nature of these midconference kneejerk reaction polls should become apparent soon.

    In the unlikely event that polls taken immeditately AFTER the conference showing Labour on 29% or higher will I concede that Labour’s prospects MAY have slightly improved.

    It will not be until after the Conservative conference will it be possible to have any serious confidence that any potentially lasting change has occured.

  25. These recent figures are a bit crackers!

    Wouldn’t it make sense to add a column for the sample size? To add into the evaluation of credibility side of things along with the source?

  26. I think all these polls in the boring conference season are as meaningless as the summer ones; I wait for the first poll a week after the conferences are done when normal news happens.

    Much as I love polls and politics this is so much the political chattering classes that it is pointless…

  27. @IAN
    The prospect of a hung parliament gives the poll an interesting dimension from an Irish perspective.
    In Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionist party, reduced to a single Westminster seat in 2005 by the surge of support for the DUP, were rebranded as Ulster Conservatives and Unionists.

    They’re about as likely to amalgamate with UKIP or the NP!

  28. “59% thought that a referendum on AV would be a good idea. Asked how they would vote in such a referendum, 26% said they would vote for FPTP, 43% for AV”

    Yeah, I think you could substitute just about anything for “AV” in that sentence… e.g. “custard” – people just want a referendum to vent their spleen… a.k.a a general election, like, yesterday.

    They ought to add to that set of questions one about whether they know what AV is (or stands for).

    Having pondered briefly on it whilst listing to that SDP woman on Radio 4 this morning, it seems to me that the only way you’d ever satisfy the diversity dalek lobby would be to simply have a male and a female MP for each constituency… (and maybe half as many constituencies), guaranteed to settle the representation of the sexes argument… and circumvent any needless rows about whether they want equality of opportunity or equality of outcomes (I suspect the latter).
    The convenient side effect being that you could then accommodate some features of AV without losing the local connection to a representative, and thus still have yer primaries.

    …following that train, I don’t think having two PMs would make for a less decisive government… just give one the Chancellorship, and t’other the Prime-Ministership.

    Not perfect, but a solution!

  29. …might divide the workload nicely for MPs if they had a Male/Female jobshare, give a bit more access?

  30. Promosan – it’s a deliberate decision not to include sample sizes, otherwise people fixate upon it as an easily understandable and quantifiable difference and ignore the rather more difficult to grasp (but arguably a lot more important) differences in methodology.

    If you go back a couple of years Ipsos-MORI’s standard sample size was 2000, but ICM’s was 1000. In my opinion, ICM’s figures were actually far more consistent and reliable, despite having samples sizes half the size. If I’d put sample size on the table people would have drawn the opposite conclusion though.

    At the moment the standard sample sizes are as follows

    Ipsos MORI: 1000
    ICM: 1000
    ComRes: 1000
    YouGov (daily): 1000
    Populus: 1500
    YouGov (normal): 2000

    (And yes, people do indeed *always* say they want a referendum.)

  31. Anthony,

    What no link….. How will I do my Scotland daily graph?

    As you would expect it’s bouncing about all over the place due to sample size but I can at least hope that by the end of the conference season it will show something meaningful.

    Of course by end of the season I mean after theTtory conference as opposed to the really important one in Inverness a couple of weeks later……


  32. Promsan,

    depending what romours you believe we either have two PM right now but ones in the house of Lords ot two PM’s inhabiting the same body……


  33. @Alec,

    You actually made me laugh with your remark about the apparent incongruousness of Cameron accepting Unionist backing in the Commons but not wanting Scots MPs to vote on England-only issues.

    Errrr, on what planet would you have to be to think that the Tories will not enjoy a majority of English seats after the next election?? I very much doubt Cameron will be needing Unionist support on English issues, and for UK wide issues there is no conflict with all UK MPs having a vote (which is the point..)

  34. Interesting that Brown is advocating an electoral system which often magnifies the unfairness of the electoral system rather than diminishing it.

    In 1997 Blair’s majority would have been over 200 rather than 179 using this system. Only 13 Tory MPs were elected with more than 50% of the vote in 1997. Most of the other 152 Tory MPs elected that year would have been defeated under AV.

  35. I have to say, I’ve only ever contributed to one poll, by Mori once last year, he came round my house… consequently, I felt the irrepressible need to overemphasise my views by way of compensation. He never asked me which party I supported, I think he suspected I would have said Nashnal Frunt, just to get a reaction… inveterate troll that I am.

    But yeah, you look at the SKY ones, and they seem to match up… the polling teams seem to yield info a bit like the way newspapers have a political persuasion… I do wonder to what extent they are pandering to their commission whether by accident or on purpose; i.e. a SKY poll will be of SKY subscribers, and thus match a particular demographic trend.

    Do any of ’em do any bigger samples ever? like 10,000? Or does the law of diminishing returns kick in long before you get that large?

    Cllr Pete – not a bad idea then… hows about a “House of Lads” and a “House of Lasses”? (with some discretion for Mandy to join the latter)!

  36. Promsan

    The Tory-Ulster Unionist pact is in place for the General Election:
    and, as Bill Patrick says, the absence of Sinn Fein from the chamber means Cameron could form a working government while being in a technical minority.

  37. @promsan

    @Andy Stidwell

    I dunno why Labour don’t just come clean and ban every other party, they seem to be starting with the NP, why not stitch up the deal and ban the Tories, and get on with their NeoStalinist fantasy!


    You’ve said that. Well done.

    You can feel chuffed with yourself now.

    Now can we try and stick to commenting on polls without getting so i. off the point and ii. so over-excited by ourselves?

  38. Anthony,

    You spoil us Mr Ambassador…..


  39. @Neil A – you’re right, but that therefore begs the question as to why Cameron expressly stated that NI MPs should be able to vote on English matters, while Scots would not? I assume it was part of the deal he struck with the Ulster Unionists. It’s constitutionally illiterate and displays nothing but political opportunism, playing fast and loose with the constitution for party political gain. It’s one of a string of policy statements that turns me off Cameron and where the lack of effective scrutiny of his policies is allowing a badly thought through government programme to come forward by default.

  40. Alec – that’s heading into the sort of discussion that should be on the other thread now it’s open…