Tonight’s YouGov voting intention has topline figures of CON 43%, LAB 38%, LDEM 11%. This is the lowest Liberal Democrat level of support recorded since straight before and after the resignation of Menzies Campbell, back in 2007. I’m slightly wary about focusing too much on extremes in polls, almost by definitions they are likely to be outliers, nevertheless, the downwards trend in Lib Dem support is there, slow but relentless.

337 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 43/38/11”

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  1. Still pretty good for the Conservatives – and not bad for Labour either. Labour will hope Blair’s & Mandelson’s interventions the last few days don’t cause a further rise in the Tory lead.

  2. Anyone else still keeping an eye on the Australian GE? Still really fascinating – the Con/Libs are on 73 (but one of the 73, Tony Crooks, has now said he’ll sit as an independent so it’s really 72) whilst Labour is on 72 but the Green has said he/she’ll vote with Labour so it’s really 73 for them. There appear to be 4 other independents (or should that be 5 with Tony Crooks) so what’s going to happen in the end is anyone’s guess!

  3. billy bob
    Grow a moustache? Act like Atlee?
    If given, this is the stupidest advice I have ever heard. In the WW2 coalition, the first thing to say is that the duty to serve uncomplainingly and supportively in government was self-evident but also it allowed the Labour Party at local level to entirely divorce themselves from the coalition and campaign energetically for Labour in the forthcoming election. parliamentary candidates were often prospectively named years before the election. On the other hand, the Liberals, also in the coalition, were in the event utterly squashed. Others are pointing to the test on the Lib DeM MPs to show gumption but may it just also be that a lot of LIb Dem members fancy floating away in to a tory party they think is a vry right wing but also a bit socially liberal?

  4. The Scottish and Welsh dimensions will be interesting
    It may look pretty black for their Welsh FPTP candidates. In Scotland it looks as if both the tories and theLIb Dems may face a classic old-fashioned squeeze with what impact. Charlie would be a mug to stay

  5. Does anybody think the Dems will be looking at single figures by the time of their conference?

    They must be relying on e.g. ICM showing them still on 18, otherwise they would be changing their approach.

    IMO, Clegg’s attitude of ‘just wait 5 years & see where we are’ is foolish. 8-)

  6. i think that there are a lot of shy dems out there, it’s one thing to say how you will vote but when you are marking your ballot your real instincts are what count

    also i suspect that VI is becoming more of a referendum Q on the necessity of spending cuts CON=YES LAB=NO

  7. I find it somewhat disappointing to see the Lib-Dems take a hammering of such significant magnitude.
    A return to the old 2 party politics of the 70s and 80s will do little to preserve democracy. The LibDems are however extensively used as a tactical vehicle, many reds in the West Country, South Mids and South East use them in an attempt to dampen the enormous blue majorities, as do blues in the North, North East and Scotland, Glasgow/South West in particular. The reality is that the “hardcore” Liberal Democrat figure could well be below 10%. A robust case for AV if ever there was one.

  8. @DavidB

    Andrew Wilkie once ran as a Green Senator so he should really fall into the labour lamp but they will still be 2 short, I would be very suprised if the other three independents go to labour I am not sure of their politics but i think they ex national party people. I always thought they would support the coalition which would give them a majority 76-74. I expect another election as this could be unworkable.

  9. george gardiner
    Shome mistake shurely
    Glasgow south west, if I remember right is rather nobly held by Mr Davidson with some infeasibly huge majority
    However, your general point is well made. None of the urban Lib Dems in the north of UK have much hope at present

  10. Barnaby, I doubt Mandelson was the cause of this rise (if you could call it that).

    1) How could it be a rise, when labour have risen to 38% over a week ago and appear to be holding it there?

    2) Labour are still without leader

    3) Cuts are yet to bite, they’ll start doing that in the autumn

    [Partisan tirade snipped – AW]

  11. @barney
    Think the reference must have been south west england rather than glasgow south west

    Also “Charlie would be a mug to stay”? ……..

    Close to his principles?

    I rather hope CK has more principles than to be scared off by a few opinion polls this early…..can’t imagine he sees the Labour party with unknown leader as the place to jump to just yet…….

  12. Barney- I wasn’t clear- meant Glasgow/SW Scotland, not the constituency.

    Tories in, for example Dumbartonshire East must surely vote with the LibDems.

    Further North Eastwards in the few Lib or SNP/ Conservative marginals, (eg Angus (SNP/CON) and one of the Aberdeenshire rural areas LD/CON) I’d expect the Reds will tactically vote ABC regardless in a concentrated effort to keep the reviled colour blue off the map.

    Scotland is most interesting.

  13. @marjory

    If it is indeed “Marjory”

    You really need to get out more…..

    ……Have you been watching “Wag the Dog” a little too much recently…..?

  14. More on CK
    Oh by the way, Mr Kennedy’s constituency is probably around 70% reliant on public spending, more than almost any Labour constituency

  15. @Julian Gilbert

    You said “…Just checked; 2007-10-24 LDs were on 11%. Actually not as long ago as I thought it would be…”

    The last poll to have LIBs on 11% was on 2008-12-11, (20 months ago) although that was a blip: the numbers before and after were notably bigger. As you say, the last poll to have LIBs at 11% as part of a run of low numbers was on 2007-10-24 (34 months ago).

    Regards, Martyn

  16. George Gardiner
    Yes point taken
    Dunbartonshire east is very interesting. In local government, Labour run a minority administration with Conservative support with Lib Dem SNP opposition.
    Hooded Man
    I think it is his principles which will be tested. His family history will be massively hostile to conservatism. The Labour Party he left was threatening to go far left.. but I might be proved wrong

  17. Which makes Sky’s 8% not so absurd after all. As a political force, the LibDems are finished. I think Brown will consider himself not to be such a failure as others may think.

  18. George Gardiner
    Obviously the point taken was constiuencies not communism!

  19. I stand to win a fiver if the Lib Dems hit 8% this year in a yougov poll. Looks like my wager is pretty safe.

  20. @MARTYN – “LIBs on 11% was on 2008-12-11”
    Oh yes, well spotted.

    Laws are meant to be prohibitive.
    My wife’s Polish, she remembers Communism. You are doing a disservice to all the people who suffered under it, and any other dictatorship to compare Labour’s policies to it.
    Also worth remembering, it was trade union action which brought down Communism.

    re. Charles Kennedy. Although he was an SDP person, he has never been close to Labour, so I was surprised by the speculation about his defection.
    Now it looks like it was all baseless anyway. Unless anyone knows otherwise.

  21. It’s not hard to see Kennedy jumping ship if David Miliband is the next Labour leader. His principles would seem to be a lot closer to Miliband’s than to Cameron’s.

  22. Amber, in my honest opinion,

    I think we will see an 10% for yellow before the conference season even opens.

    The announcement of a new Labour leader could temporarily see yellows dip to 8%.

    The Comprehensive spending review announcement and its local reporting (see BBC NI today for a good example) could see yellow stay at 8-11% for a wee while).

    By Jan they’ll be back up to 12, 13, 14%.

  23. @ Hooded man If it is indeed “Hooded Man” my name IS Marjory, but I bet yours is not Hooded Man, more like “Puddled man”, fancy making references to my name which is an actual name, while you are going under such a fatuous ID!

    Why do I need to get out more, because I refuse to be brainwashed by the right wing press?

    Perhaps you ought to go cut yourself a breathing hole in your hood, you seem to be suffering from hypoxia and it is affecting your thought process.

  24. @barney
    Yes his principles will be stretched, but what will be made of those Libs who have advocated PR all their lives and the hung parliaments that inevitably ensue, enter into a coalition govt where they achieve an opportunity to influence like never before, and then walk away because they don’t like all the policies?

    More of their dreams die if they abandon ship….

  25. Even assuming my favourable position that the LibDems will recover upward of 4 points during any election campaign… This is still pretty bad. They’d need to pick up twice that to get back to 2001 levels from here.

  26. @marjory
    Hmm, I re-read your “babygate” post and considered whether it was ironic…….but I guess your ire suggests not…….

    Meanwhile, I look forward to your insightful poll “predictions” from last week’s thread coming true…..December was it?

  27. According to ElectoralCalculus, Vince Cable would be ousted if this poll was repeated at a General Election (based on UNS).

  28. Obviously George Gardner is trying to troll these message boards with obtuse comments.

  29. I have to remind some here that it is always best to wait until we get 4-5 polls to see where we really are!
    Nevertheless it’s 5 more years until the next GE!

    Must dash, pen in hand… Great Energy Flowing.. Exciting Times!!

  30. Bobby

    If it gets much worse… Electoral Calculus will need” recalibrating” to account for negative territory!. Tee Hee Hee.

  31. @ Hooded Man

    Infinitely more intelligent people than you have tried to wind me up without success.

    Did you choose such an inane ID because you thought it made you sound mysterious and wise? because if you did, you failed.

  32. Let’s put this into perspective…

    This time last year reds were low 20s
    In April Yellows led reds by 8%
    In 2005 post Iraq, LDs had 61 MPs
    Tuition fees, penny on income tax, No nuclear, Anti-Iraq
    Mark Oaten at home affairs blocking terror
    Ming at the Foregin office against Iraq
    Charlie K on every chat show up and down the country
    UNI campuses buzzed about yellow. They were the students party.
    York, Stirling, Newcastle, Durham all looked likely to go yellow.

    Now we have a sorry sorry tale.

    Danny Alexander in the Treasury as NHS direct goes,
    Huhne backing Nuclear
    Clegg asking conference delegates (sept ’09) to drop tuition fee abolition
    Vincent in Bussiness discovering a newfound penchant for weilding an axe.
    David Laws waiting in the wing to return.

    Pugh, Farron, Opik, Kennedy, Steel, Ming, Ashdown disenchanted…. Add Hancock and Russell to that…

    I’ll be straight: I do not recognise this party. I do not know where its future lies or what it stands for. Its leader aint even that bothered about AV.


  33. Anyway.. “who is Vince Cable”?

  34. Eoin,

    They ain’t worried cause they like power more than their party!
    It’s all the start of a new Liberal Conservative party. You wait and see, I will be right as usual!!

  35. Wayne,

    I agree 100%

  36. WAYNE – “It’s all the start of a new Liberal Conservative party.”
    You could be right. And also the start of a new Liberal Labour party.
    Neither the Cons nor Lab will actually change their names of course.
    So we’ll be left with a Labour party and a Conservative party.
    And no LDs.

  37. @EOIN –“By Jan they’ll be back up to 12, 13, 14%.”
    Talk about damning with faint praise.
    Off to bed. Good night all.

  38. @Marjory
    Just to say well done for standing your corner against trolls. Tiz good we have a poll to study at last. Not actually much different from one month ago 42 : 38 : 12

    Off to bed now. Nite nite all.

  39. Cozmo – no, not well done. Rule #1 of internet discourse is, as any fule kno, is DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS.

  40. @ Eoin

    It is a sad state of affairs.


    It can’t be that long before start doing a line in political parties :)

  41. Billy, lol

    I’ll be sure to tune in. If reds elect D Mili – I’m buying a magnifying glass to read the small print in the three manifestos.

  42. @Eoin Clarke

    You said “…I’ll be straight: I do not recognise this party. I do not know where its future lies or what it stands for. Its leader aint even that bothered about AV…”

    Foreground liberal values, prevent Labour/Conservative governments pandering to their extremists, prevent unions/rich buying elections, any attempt to arrest a senior OCP employee results in shutdown.

    There you go. Although I may have gotten one of them wrong… :-)

    (Although I am humungeously p***ed off by their backtracking on AV).

    Regards, Martyn

  43. @marjory
    Sorry to disappoint, nowt so exotic, just a nickname I’m afraid

    Not sure how I managed to be labelled as such just for questioning the “out of this world-ness” of Marjory’s recent post(s)??

  44. @Bobby

    Correction, Electoral Calculus use Strong Transition Model not Universal National Swing.

  45. Thank you for putting a thought that had niggled me for ages into words.

    Richard in Norway – “also i suspect that VI is becoming more of a referendum Q on the necessity of spending cuts CON=YES LAB=NO”

  46. Martin,

    Thankyou…..I’m going to write them down and pin them on my wall:)

  47. @Barney Crockett – “Grow a moustache?”

    It might have been partly in jest. The emphasis on ‘say nothing’. The more people see and hear of Nick Clegg the futher LD’s plummet.

    The Cameron baby has probably helped. But more seriously I wonder if celebrity culture will shorten political lives… after a while we just get sick of the sight of them (or see through them if they are not the real thing, unlike Attlee).

  48. T B says he drank whiskey gin (phew both wud ake e sick) and wine as nightcaps when he was PM.

    Does that mean bring back Charlie K all is forgiven?

    Hope so! :)

  49. I’m no liberal, but to talk of the Lib Dem’s demise is just plain crazy and premature IMO.

    In any coalition government support for the smaller party usually takes a much bigger knock in polls than it does for the larger party. Don’t get me wrong, I am not disputing the fact that most of the Lib collapse is down to a loss in public confidence in the LIbs. Many are disillusioned with the Libs for having agreed to the cuts, as well as following a less ‘liberal’ agenda. Of that there is little doubt. However, I would still have reasonably expected the Lib vote in the polls to have taken a sharp tumble relative to its GE level – at least in the short-term.

    Perhaps more importantly, as we have repeatedly been made aware over the years – polls can and do change. It is not totally inconceivable that Lib support may be back up to 15% or 16% by January. Even if it doesn’t, polls do have the tendency to vary quite considerably over a 4 or 5 year period, especially as a GE nears. The electorate has a very short-term memory, as the Iraq war, more recently, and Tory scandals of the early 1990s show.

    So are the current Lib figures worrying? Clearly. Are they catastrophic? No. If the Libs make a success of the coalition and demonstrate strong enough leadership and vision to reconnect with disillusioned voters then they may reap the rewards at the 2015 GE. Sounds easy, eh?

  50. @ Sue and Richard

    I’m not so sure on this. Although more Labour voters may opposed to cuts than other groups, I expect that a significant proportion of this group would still agree in with the principle of spending reductions, if not entirely with the scope and scale of the current government’s plans.

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