YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 36%(-1), LAB 34%(+1), LDEM 17%(-1). Back to a very tight 2 point lead, and signs that the Lib Dem boost we saw last week is subsiding. The poll was conducted almost entirely before the budget, and wholly before the main media reaction to it tonight and tomorrow morning – so realistically it is already out of date.

I normally offer a caveat about waiting for other polls before concluding anything from a widening or narrowing of the lead. In this case we will never know. If tomorrow’s poll shows a bigger Tory lead we’ll never know if this was a blip, or was a genuine narrowing stamped out by the budget. If tomorrow’s poll confirms this one we’ll never know if this one was the beginning of a trend, or it’s really a budget boost for the government and this one was just a co-incidence.

In terms of when we can expect to see a reaction to the budget, the next YouGov/Sun poll (the one that will be published in 24 hours time) went into the field late this afternoon, so will be entirely post budget and we may see an impact then. On the other hand, we may see a different result once people have watched the media reaction on the TV tonight, or in the newspapers tomorrow – if that’s the case we will need too wait for the polls in the Sunday papers for the full story. Time will tell.

239 Responses to “YouGov Daily poll – 36/34/17”

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  1. Sue and Eoin – Interesting about the “class” thing.
    IMHO, using “class” as a weapon could be counter-productive if operated too much/often. This is because IMO people take the view that class should not be a deciding/influential factor.

    Is DC’s team now viewed by many as “toffs”, and perhaps out of touch with what affects joe-public? Are they (and the “rich”) seen as insulated against the worst of the effects of recessions?

  2. Duhh…….. that should have read “I don’t have HAPPY memories.” Of course I remember it! lol

  3. Mundane Question:-

    Why did David Cameron and Nick Clegg respond to Darling and not George Osbourne and Vince Cable?

    I always thought the Shadow Chancellor and Lib Tresury Spokesman would respond to the Chancellor

    correct me if i’m wrong it was the first budget that i’ve watched trought normally i switch off after the Chacellor!!

  4. The Leader of the Opposition always replies to the Budget, not the Shadow Chancellor. Odd I know.

  5. Barnaby – you are quite right, but isn’t that why Cameron calls him “Oik” because he went to a “lesser” public school? Sorry, but this has all played out in the media. My husband went to Public School incidentally, and I’m a champagne socialist, just trying to analyse the results objectively :)

  6. @Mike N,

    weapon would not be right word.

    If some forms their group identity on class, as opposed to race or gender shall we say… well then it means the will naturally gravitate towards a certain party…

    triple jeopardy ie when someone has a combination of all three group identifyers (as most of us do) well that just messes us up..

    so just because somesone says that class is important to them- does not mean that race isnt…

    i would hazard a guess their are a growing number of people who although they feel britian is a class based society, they may view that indigenous white working class are worse off than another ethnic groping in which case they would BNP/Tory/UKIP potentially…

  7. Mike N – perhaps that’s why Mandleson made GB drop it like a hot potato? Damage done move on and let it snowball on it’s own?

  8. Of course, such lines of attack work on more than just the Tories.

    Nick Clegg is a St Paul’s Old Boy, isn’t he? It is a line of attack that Labour is using on the doorstep that Clegg is Cameron Mark II

  9. At thelast world cup there was a poll carried out relating to Tim Henman and Wayne Rooney- the former was scoring a few in portugal i think and the latter was progressing through the latter stages of wimbledon…

    it threw up quite a lot of stats about class prejudice..

    it is why i often ask if there is a cahnce if wolrd cup fever will play its part…

    if rooney bags a few then it tends to alleviate class tensions to some extent…. i wondered if that would impact?

  10. Maria – the leader of the opposition always responds to the budget. Exactly how long the tradition goes back I don’t know.

    Barnaby – I have no idea if there are any other St Paul’s old boys, but Harriet Harman went to St Paul’s Girls School.

  11. Quincel
    YouGov’s is not a tracker poll. It has the same iwdespread input as the others (better they would claim of course). This is the nth time I’ve acted as Anthony’s clerk. Michael Crick on Newesnight called it a tracker poll so I expect that’s where you got it from.

  12. Nick Clegg isn’t (Westminster), but I have found another one – Ed Vaisey.

  13. Cap’n’Scooby – Thing is with Clegg, it doesn’t play into any kind of “nasty party/toff” narrative. Ditto Harman. I’m not even saying for a moment that it should be “used” on the doorsteps – heaven forbid. Just that like it or not it may have played into some preconceptions about the Tories.
    (There are many, many articles in the press to back this up)

  14. Thanks Anthony, forgotten him. There’s a well-known Tory Dean Godson whom I knew at school, too.

  15. Should we be expecting an AR and ICM this weekend, even a Comres too?

    There must be a hell of a lot of polling going on somehwere after the budget, a possible plethora of polls this weekend.

  16. @Sue,

    Anthony posted questions relating to Eton jibe a while back…

    Tories voters were less hung up about it..

    LAbour voters resolutely saw the Tories as “only out for the rcih” or something to that effect…

    The underclasses alwasy more aggrieved than the upper classes- I cannot think for the life of me why that might be? Hmm… nevermind

  17. As you are playing the game, I found this article Anthony, but I totally accept if you decide not to publish the link – kind of hope you don’t as I didn’t intend any out and out class bashing.
    In the interests of fair play I will try to get the same info on Labour front bench…….

  18. Toffs insulated from recession
    Certainly the Budget vox pops brought that comment up more than once. Clearly it would be disastrous for the Con front bench to become associated with the new money types such as Sir Fred. I have assumed that is why Letwin reverted to a back room boy job, apart from being gaffe prone.

    Nevertheless, Mr and Mrs Cameron sit on a huge fortune and it may be that the Mirror decides to have a go. The problem may be for that activity that Blair and his ilk aren’t exactly on the dole are they? I expect Mandy worked that one out but I must confess that I judge the reported use of Blair in the campaign as a potential disaster for Labour.
    The private polling will dictate who does what of course..

  19. @Howard,

    Unless they use Blair in some leafy marginal, I could not agree more….

    Unless they want to remind people what went before Brown?

  20. Some observations – make of them what you will:

    Newsnight last night. Logically enough, the two opposition spokesmen to one side of Paxman and the Labour rep on the other. But it might as well have been the Lab and Con in a sound-proofed room armed with pillows battering at each other while Paxman and Cable tried to have a sensible conversation. Hideous amounts of waffle, unsubstantiated claims, tit for tit accusations etc ad inf. If it is the economy that is going to affect the polls, then I truly hope that nobody bases their opinion on this pointless and mildly shameful load of old nonsense.

    Today programme this morning. Evan Davies interviews George Osborne, who does nothing but trot out the old “we’ll publish our policy intentions when we feel the time is right” line. STILL no hard and fast facts from the Tories – I mean, I’ve heard of keeping your powder dry, but this is getting ridiculous. Davies points out that from what little has been said the only conclusion is that Lab and Con are really not so very different – even then Osborne doesn’t take the opportunity to set out where the differences are and why he feels that the Conservative way is better for everyone. If he is not going to do it on Today, the day after the budget, then when?

    The polls have narrowed, IMHO, because of Davies’ point – people are finding it increasingly difficult to find any true differences between the policies of the two main parties, because so little is out in the open. People are retreating into their voting intention shells, and most have an instinctive idea as to where they “naturally” vote.

    This election will be won by the party who most clearly and credibly sets out their plans during the final month. Waffle and flim-flam will not be tolerated in a way that it has been over the last 20 years and more.

  21. My knowledge of boarding schools is restricted to reading Enid Blyton books when I was a kid.

    Always seemed odd that the kids’ parents disliked them so much that they kept getting rid of them – though it did give them freedom to have jolly spiffing adventures, that I envied them.

    “Parental rejection and the need to be loved among politicians” – Discuss.

  22. The chattering classes have been discussing for months whether or not Labour would have the courage to ditch Gordon before their electoral annihilation. Perhaps the question now should be whether or not the Tories have time to replace David Cameron with Ken Clarke.

  23. oldnat

    “Parental rejection and the need to be loved among politicians” – Discuss.

    If you need to be loved, Politics is the wrong game for you.

  24. The big tax hike on strong cider is certainly going to get the tramp vote out onto the streets.
    ‘Sway against Labour ‘

  25. What an utterly depressing & revealing discussion…….
    the class implications of supermarket bags-my god-Cuba here we come !

    “the UK chancellor filled the brief. His broad message was simple: fiscal consolidation without pain. It may not be credible. But it certainly has political appeal”

    FT-says it all.

  26. Checking out this thread I see that there’s a lot of chat about public schools and ‘toffs’ – for our Scottish friends where ‘public schools’ means state schools I should say independent schools! Anyway, I’d love to see some polling evidence about whether voters are really influenced by the fact that 17 of the Tory front bench went to Eton and the best estimate of their cumulative worth s around £250 million. Personally I’d also love to know whether DC continues to call GO ‘Oik’ in private ,and if DC does I’d like to assure GO that he really has nothing to be ashamed about just because he went to St Paul’s and not Eton.

    As the Chair of a local Fabian branch, I’m sure DC wouldn’t want to take any advice from me, but he needs to realise that if he wants to be seen as a future PM he needs to curb the impression of rather immature petulance which many have commented on recently.

  27. @Colin- Your right in every way :)

    It is always good to quote the FT, excellent paper…

    try this article

    “Poll data show Tories struggling to win over north
    By Jean Eaglesham” Published: March 16 2010

    It articulates the impact of class prejudice on voter impact far better than I ever could….

  28. For those that cannot get access to the FT article- the most relevant snippet

    “Expected public sector job losses, for example, would hit the north of England particularly hard as the public sector is a disproportionately large employer in many northern cities. Curbs to welfare benefits would hit hardest the DEs – the only socio-economic group in which more people are backing Labour than any of the other parties, according to the analysis.

    The numbers show that class remains a powerful predictor of voting intentions. The Tories enjoy double-digit leads among the richest half of the population. But their three-months average lead among the skilled working class – classic swing voters who backed Margaret Thatcher in 1979 and Mr Blair in 1997 – is much narrower at seven points”.

  29. I am not at all surprised at the latest movement towards Labour. The “payroll vote” is going home. With “public servants”, benefit claimants and tax credits Labour has a large natural majority (look at the huge portion of the Budget going on Social Security). The only surprise is that the polls showed Conservatives in the lead for so long or indeed at all. The Budget plans 30% of Civil Service to go from London to the regions, so this increase in the payroll vote can only continue.

    I will not be surprised to see a large Tory majority in England but a Labour majority overall (again). The Scots, Welsh and Irish are not stupid enough to kill the golden goose. This will be an outrage to the English and speed up the breakup of the UK.

  30. I’ve mentioned this before but the Cameron ‘petulance’ is something he cannot do anything about except purse his lips and look serious. For years now, if you think about it carefully, he has not given many live interviews but simply read speeches or deliver sound bites from lecterns with young Tories sat behind him. Almost every day there used to be some vague initiative propose (literally every day – look back though the press handouts). We used to call them Tory thought for the day here.
    He took care to make sure he iwasnot photoed with his mouth open (those pursed lips again) but having been given this enormous free ride for at least two years, he is suddenly exposed. His message was essentially ‘I’m not Gordon Brown and I’m young’ and he is discovering that nobody cares aboiut that any more. The Debates are an immense risk for him that he must be quaking about.
    So he needs some other Event like Byers (although that didn’t work out well did it?).

    My wife has just said to me that Mandy will have something on one of them if they try to use something against his lot. They may indeed have agreed a truce following the Majorca yacht Event.

    It is these matters that count in the opinion polls – not deficits.

  31. the press coverage I have seen seem to have been bad for the budget. so fully expect the labour rating to go up about 5 points!!

  32. “My wife has just said to me that Mandy will have something on one of them if they try to use something against his lot. It is these matters that count in the opinion polls – not deficits.”

    Then we are finished as a country.

    This has indeed been a revealing morning on UKPR.

  33. I don’t see why this debate is depressing. There is no doubt whatsoever that DEs tend to vote Labour and ABs tend to vote Tory. Why would we close our eyes to why this is?
    The Labour Party was set up to give working men and women (those very DEs ) a voice. I’m not a “commie” for pointing any of this out.
    It saddens me greatly that traditional voters have found any value in a narrative that says “they’re all the same”.
    It saddens me even more to find that BNP voters leach mainly from the Labour Party.

  34. I don’t see how witholding embarrassing stories as a truce leaves us worse off as a country. Much better in my view.

    In contrast with the last two elections, the actual central issue – Govt responsibility vs Individual responsibility – is very prominent.

    Leaving aside the whacky partisan theories of “the other side”, I think there is a vast number of voters who’ll make their mind up on the basis of their gut feeling about that central issue.

    And therefore I expect a tie.

  35. Everybody has their own idea about what is the central issue

    essentially there are three

    1. Economy
    2. Unemployment
    3. Immigration

    These 3 issues combined occupied 3/4’s of the elecorates minds…

  36. For some reason I seem to be getting automatically placed into moderation, but I’ll have another try.

    The FT has an interesting take on the Osborne interview on R4 Today this morning, and basically takes the view that there really isn’t a fundamental difference between Darling and Osborne apart from the fact that we have more detail from Darling. This is probably the Tories biggest current problem. they are promising a major change in the approach to the deficit, but can’t say what it is. It makes the bluster and synthetic anger look all the more empty, and unless and until they can fill in the detail, which in itself might cause them some electoral problems, that are caught in a trap of their own making. This all goes back to the age of austerity line – unless you back this up with detail you create a rod for your own back.

  37. Hi Anthony & all

    Sky News is awaiting an Ipsos Mori poll due at 12.00 midday

    Watch this space ;-)

  38. Have sky switched to IPSOS?

    perhaps AR might suit them better?

  39. Anthony

    I see Harris changed their methodology for their latest poll in this series..

    Polls of 22 Feb & 10 Mar asked “In the last general election in 2005, for which party did you vote?”

    In this poll they have changed to “Regardless of how you may vote, with which party do you normally consider yourself a part of?”

    Any comment?

  40. It certainly appears that the Tory strategy is, as Howard says above, to keep banging on about “energy”, “vision”, “ideas” etc etc ad nauseum. I just can’t see people thinking: “Blimey! That lot have got vision, I shall vote for them.”

    On the other hand the Lib Dems have loads of specific policies and, as coverage becomes equal, these will be heard more and more.

    The whole Tory strategy is weird: just heard G.O. accuse Labour of having “stealth” taxes lined up and yet, at the same time, saying the Conservatives would go further faster. That is just unbelievably stupid. No-one is going to to feel indignant about Labour cuts if the alternative is larger Conservative cuts. I genuinely think I could advise them how to present themselves better than this.

  41. Oldnat – one is a past vote question, one a party ID question. As far as I can tell neither of them contribute to their weighting or their processing of their topline figures – they are just other questions they are asking.

    (My guess is that they are gathering extra data for future internal use and methodolical development)

  42. Sue,

    I understand your sadness regarding people that fail to see fundamental differences in ideology, and especially regarding any former Labour voter that would defect to the BNP.

    Regarding the former, I’m afraid that until (and in some cases even after) clear policy lines are drawn, for most people politicians of whatever colour are all tainted, and “as bad as each other”.

    Regarding the latter – I wouldn’t sweat it too much. Griffin cooked his own goose pretty effectively on QT. Disaffected Labour voters, perhaps in areas with high immigration, might have been tempted, but since he was given the rope to hang himself with I don’t think he has a hope of making a real impact in the GE. I know it’s not nice to think that people who would normally support the party you love might be bigotted neanderthals, but they are a tiny minority.

  43. “I don’t see why this debate is depressing”

    Because prejudice of any sort is small minded and inward looking.

    Because prejudice against another “class” of people on the basis of their education , background & wealth is either patronising, or jealousy.( depending on whether you are Ronnie Corbet , or John Clease as it were )

    So encouraging prejudice against people with private education , or larger houses, or greater wealth creates a politics of jealousy.

    Because that sort of outlook discourages ambition & with it opportunity. It encourages “what I come from ” at the expense of “where I can go to”.. It fosters & encourages social divides & so it is inimical to social mobility & personal advancement.

    It holds people back rather than urging them forward.It is for stasis rather than progress.

    It is bad for the country & bad for the individual.

    Why do I believe all this SUE?

    The lessons of my own background, the effect on my own life, and the achievements of my life ( such as they are!)

  44. Colin I respect your conclusion and personal view but if I said to you that ‘the country’ is an absent concept from voters’ minds, could you see I could be right? The concept only lives for sport and when there is a demonstrable need to pull together and such an emergency and has not lived in the minds of voters since May 1945 (Princess Diana type hysteria excepted).
    National campaigns for charities also have that cooperative gene effect, which is good is it not (feed the world etc)? Sue has bashed on about class distinction and could be right too but, as a watershed, something quite relatively innocent could have played a role. I cite the marriage tax allowance restitution proposal as being an example. That was not a clever electoral popularity move was it?

  45. I wonder if the real class problem the Tories have is that they’re still seen as the more clanny Ruling Class party (think of that Bullingdon Club photo) even though Labour has more than its share of rich and/or hereditary pols (Hodge, Mandleson, Harman etc).

    To revert to the question of budget impact, has anyone done any call-back polls (as ‘tracker’ seems to be ambiguous) on budgets to see what the effect was on specific panel ?

  46. Lab 41 Con 37 in marginals IPSOS

  47. @Colin,

    One word sums up your point


    I do not think that individualsim is where DE’s focus lies… the poorer classes tend to have all sorts of notions about community and society…

    perhaps its th eclose knit housing estates or large factory workforces where they form this group identity that makes them vote as a bloc

    wealthier people in often rural areas who worj in SMEs or thei rown business or farms are less likely to form a group identity along thse lines…

    the static nature of their day-to-day communal lives means that the village country clud or foxhounting are the moments where their contact with the fellow socila class congeals.

    the net result is that the former proably have a distinct class consciousness, probably viewing the wealth syatem as soem form of heirarchcal superstructure where hegemonic control is out of their grasp…

    the group alienation affect probably accelarates when wreckless spending or specualtion brings the country to a stand still…

    in view of this, it is explainable why resentment rises, group identity along class lines hardens and increases the likeliehoodfor them to be swayed by a “playing fields of eton” jibe which was Sue’s original point…

  48. Ipsos Mori poll for marginals taken before budget

    Lab 41
    Con 37

    No other details as yet

  49. Howard – it’s completely clear where the water-shed occurred and, while cause to effect cannot be proved, I’m convinced that a time series analysis would prove the association.

    Cameron’s support has been going down hill ever since he stated that there would not be a referendum on the Lisbon treaty if the Conservatives were elected.

    I’m a little confused by this – I don’t see so much evidence that Europe is such an enormous issue in voters minds, because the voters who left the Conservative party haven’t gone flocking to UKIP in decisive numbers.

    People can give pollsters their political convictions and say they’ll be voting for a minor party, even though deep down they understand that eventually it will be a choice between Conservative and Labour. Only close to the election would I expect to see people becoming rational, support for the other parties dwindling and everything concentrating on two parties. Yet, even though Cameron’s decline can be dated to his statement that there would be no referendum on Europe, there has been no surge in support for UKIP.

    The association of the start of the decline and the announcement on the Euro-referendum is clear though.

  50. The drop in the Tory lead since the beginning of the year is still consistent with a linear trend, although it would be difficult to explain the underlying reason. If true, it would mean that the variations are just “noise” around the trend, either sampling variations or short term impacts of “events”. The trend for YouGov alone is about – 0.6 percentage points a week and for all companies except YouGov about – 0.5 points a week- effectively no difference given the confidence intervals. The difference lies in the postion of the trend line, with other sites being about 3 points higher than YouGov. The regression line provides an estimate of the current position, which is a gap of 4 points for YouGov and 7 for other companies. These are significantly different. This is a retrospective analysis of course and does not mean that a linear trend will continue.

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