There are two new polls out tonight. YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 42%, LDEM 8%. So far this week YouGov’s daily polling has shown Labour leads of 5 points, 4 points, 3 points and 5 points, so it certainly looks as if the Labour lead has grown from the leads of one or two points that we were seeing last month.

The second poll is from TNS BMRB and has topline figures, with changes from last month, of CON 35%(-2), LAB 38%(-2), LDEM 11%(+1), Others 16%(+3).


172 Responses to “New YouGov and TNS BMRB polls”

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  1. “Whilst Anthony is sceptical of saying the opposition need lead x now, historical evidence suggests there is a drift in the Governments direction in the last year or so before a GE.”
    I don’t think that we should really compare to previous polling (we’re in a different time) – but oppositions tend to do a lot better after the point we’re at –
    Labour is doing a lot better (when compared to previous election result) than Tories 2005-2010 and close to Labour 1992-1997 at the same point.
    Then after this point came the big opposition boosts which then shrank as the election approached.

    Infact, 2005-2010 for the Tories fits a similar pattern as Labour’s 1992-1997 opposition *except* for the 2007 drop when Blair stood down.

    Again – I don’t think the same will happen, I think this parliament is unique – but if we’re making historical comparisons, it’s still too early to tell.
    And I still think we’re heading for a Tory win – because of electoral geography, rather than any sort of national support.

  2. To put some figures on it –
    Oppositions 6 months in (compared to previous election result) Guardian/ICM (who changed their methodology 1992-1997, so beware that also)-
    1992 – Lab +5
    1997 – Con -1
    2001 – Con -4
    2005 – Con 0
    2010 – Lab +9

    1 year in –
    1992 – Lab +4
    1997 – Con -2
    2001 – Con -1
    2005 – Con +5
    2010 – Lab +8

    18 months in –
    1992 – Lab +4
    1997 – Con -4
    2001 – Con -6
    2005 – Con +7
    2010 – Lab +10

    Now (21 months) –
    1992 – Lab +8
    1997 – Con -3
    2001 – Con -1
    2005 – Con +7
    2010 – Lab +8

    38 months in (using the peak for Con 2005)
    1992 – Lab +18
    1997 – Con +4
    2001 – Con nc
    2005 – Con +12
    2010 – Lab ???

    Result –
    1992 (so 1997 election) – Lab +11
    1997 – Con +2
    2001 – Con nc
    2005 – Con +3
    2010 – Lab ???

    Again – it shows a unique position – but if Ed ‘does a Michael Howard’, and we assume that we follow previous polling patterns as a guideline (which again, I suggest we don’t), the current 37-39 should stick – which would probably deny Labour a majority (and could result in a Con majority) but would be a significant improvement on last election.

  3. LANDOCAKES

    @”@colin Your link suggests that although Gordon Brown has earned over £1 million, he hasn’t actually kept any of it for himself. I find this resistance to the lure of wealth accumulation to be rather admirable.”

    I am willing to believe that of GB. There always seemed to be a Calvinist streak in him.

    Whilst I came to dislike much about the man ( and to see through the myths about his Chancellorship) , I believe that he did have deep rooted political principles.

    I never believed that of TB. That twinkle in the eye-the ready self deprecation, told me that he never took his politics too seriously. Ever the showman ( part of his universal appeal I think), I imagine that he always had his eye on a lucrative future outside politics.

    Brown’s departure gave the impression of a shocked man walking into the dark-clinging on to his family for orientation. His Downing Street walk with wife & children was one of the most emotional political scenes I can remember.

    Blair’s “That is that. The end” was definitively different.

    In my imagination he just stopped himself saying “…….the end of that-now for the real stuff”

  4. Also, I screwed up my figures – oops
    “Result –
    1992 (so 1997 election) – Lab +11
    1997 – Con +2
    2001 – Con nc
    2005 – Con +3
    2010 – Lab ???”
    Should read “1992 – Lab +9” – Doh!

  5. Blimey -they are all at it today !.

    Vince, Simon & the gang.

    Differentiating for all they are worth.

    The opposition with Government.

    There must, logically, come a point at which they simply cannot be in two different places at the same time. 40% of their 2010 voters have already decided which of the two they want to be in.

  6. The opposition WITHIN government :-)

  7. If the Liberals were to split into two separate parties again, how would this affect polling ?

    I could see some of the Lib Dems splitting and forming an SDLP again before the next GE.

  8. @Stockport Red

    I’ll take your advice and stick to politics. Football is a far more passionate and divisive subject and, in future, and to avoid arousing the many and varied partisan furies involved, I’ll restrict my anti-United diatribes to the football blogs that I occasionally visit! There I can indulge my biases and antipathies to their hearts content!

    Back to the calmer waters of domestic politics. This could be a seminal week for the Liberal Democrats and maybe their last real chance in this Parliament to pull back from impending electoral Armageddon. There are two very good reasons why the party membership should defeat their leadership over the Health Bill at their Spring Conference. Firstly, because it is a piece of very poorly thought through legislation that is very likely to have an irreversibly detrimental effect on the NHS and, secondly, because they need to show that their party is in a conditional coalition arrangement with the Conservatives and hasn’t become merely an obedient and useful appendage to a Tory Government.

    So, they have both principled and deeply political reasons for defeating Clegg at their conference. The alternative is to endorse the Health Reforms, kowtow to the leader’s wishes and then, I fear, allow their party to become forever associated with legislation that, after 65 years, effectively finishes the NHS as a truly public service.

    That’s not a nice label to be hanging around a centre left political party, is it? Much better to invoke Tory wrath now rather than face the electorate’s anger in May 2015.

  9. Tinged,

    Interesting figures. Suggests that the 21 month figures (i.e. now) are not so different from the final election result. But there could be a swing (possibly a large one) to the opposition and back again before polling day.

  10. @”an obedient and useful appendage to a Tory Government.”

    Indeed-forgetting their true purpose-an obedient & useful appendage to a Labour Government. :-)

    We shall see what the LibDem Homage & Fealty Committee of the their Vassalage Authority make of it all soon.

    :-) :-)

  11. All things being equal, I would anticipate Labour strengthening their position over the next two years, with the Tories dropping back a bit and the LDs languishing on 10%.

    However, certain negatives such as EU rows with Germany/France, Strikes or riots could help the Tories and even LDs if Labour’s response is unsatisfactory.

    Also certain positives such as a huge haul of golds in the Olympics, or a surprise tax friendly budget may boost the coalition.

    Ultimately, if by autumn of 2014 UK’s economy is clearly on the mend then I think the Tories will romp it; ideally the LDs would get a boost also, particularly if the eurozone countries are seen to be struggling.

  12. @HENRY

    I think that is spot on, but if the economy is not recovering well Labour may edge it.

    I think the current increase in the Labour lead is no surprise given recent news stories. However the election will be decides by the state of the Economy.

  13. before Virgilio gets here the Free democrats have crashed to 1% in Saarland, they really are on their last legs!

  14. @Colin

    “However, certain negatives such as EU rows with Germany/France, Strikes or riots could help the Tories and even LDs if Labour’s response is unsatisfactory.”

    This may be the most abject example of clutching at straws that I think I’ve ever seen. Borderline hilarious, in fact!

    @Colin

    “Indeed-forgetting their true purpose-an obedient & useful appendage to a Labour Government.”

    Blimey, three smiley faces in one short post; I almost expected a “ha ha”, but that’s probably a little too cerebral for early on a Saturday afternoon! lol

    Picking the odd bit of text from amongst all the smiley faces, I think my response to you would be that the Lib Dems true purpose in life is to be an independent political party with a unique identity. Fairly simple stuff.

    By the way, always better to be a lol man than a smiley facer! lol

  15. Oops. The first quote was Henry’s and not Colins’s, but it’s easy to confuse the two!!

  16. I really do think people should not get too bogged down comparing today’s polls with previous elections. This is like no other economic backdrop we’ve seen – at least not since the 1930’s.

    The latest round of QE is having some effect, along with the sticking plaster Euro bailout, but this wont last long. Yesterday Sarkozy declared the Greek crisis ‘solved’ – this shows how deluded the various European leaders are.

    There will be huge economic shocks and significant unforeseen events for several years to come, with I suspect the vast majority of these being on the downside. It’s genuinely difficult to construct any kind of scenario that demonstrates comfortable economic growth by 2014/15, and probably the best we can expect is a long, slow grind.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean it will be easier for Labour – possibly far from it. But it certainly means that we are living in extraordinary times, the like of which only the very elderly can remember.

  17. @Chris Todd – “… details of a number of the most recent YouGov polls”

    When you posted that request Wikipedia were up to the same date as the UKPR table… but their bod has been at work and it is now up to date:

    h
    ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_next_United_Kingdom_general_election

  18. Henry

    Re: recovering economies and the Tories romping it.

    There’s a very obvious flaw in that logic. Even after GDP growth has been firmly re-established, there is generally an 18 month or so lag before unemployment starts to fall and living standards start to rise. Given that even the most optimistic forecasts have us experiencing anaemic growth for the next 12 months, there’s precious little time for the feel good factor to kick in before May 15. You seem to be assuming that the electorate will perform a detailed analysis if macro economic trends and base their vote on that. I suspect they are more likely to reflect on half a decade of Austerity and to ask themselves whether they really want to sign up for more when Danny Alexander unveils a coalition manifesto calling for more Austerity into the middle distance.

  19. Alec

    Amen to that. It is intellectually idle to reflect on the fact that Governing parties tend to lift their VI in the run up to GEs.

    Firstly, they DON’T always do so, especially in economically ricky times.

    Heath in Feb 74 scored significantly less than his mid term polling VI figure 2 years earlier. Callaghan in 79 did barely better than his lowest polling VI at the nadir of the IMF crisis. Does anyone other than the Blessed Margaret seriously believe that the Tories in 92 would have upped their vote significantly from the lows of 89-90 had they not defenestrated her?

    Secondly, of course, we are in very novel parliamentary times. One can’t simply extrapolate what usually/sometimes happened under one party Govt conditions to what is happening now.

    Thirdly, the Tories’ have had the Devil’s own problem breaking above 40% VI consistently for more than a generation. It seems strange to assume that there is a strong likelihood of them doing so in the run up to 15.

    Fourthly, if we are going to look to the past for our predictions, remember how extremely rare it has been for an incumbent Party to improve on its vote share from its first successful GE.

  20. CROSSBAT11

    @”I think my response to you would be that the Lib Dems true purpose in life is to be an independent political party with a unique identity.”

    Of course you do :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

  21. “Rely” not “reflect”

  22. Good Afternoon
    Politics takes second place today and tomorrow.
    i. Wales to Win.
    ii. Ireland to win.
    iii. England to lose to France

    iv. Then Me to complete his first ever 10K race after mass on sunday Morning.

    v. Then a new leader of the Labour Party peut etre

  23. It shouldn’t be too difficult for the tories to add 1/2% to their 2010 vote. Question is can they NUMERICALLY inrease their vote when tjinking about turnout?

  24. LD’s decide to debate the SW motion, rather than the “drop.the bill” motion by 309 votes to 280.

  25. I wonder if it’s possible for the Lib Dem vote to fall below 5%?

  26. LD’s decide to debate the SW motion, rather than the “drop.the bill” motion by 309 votes to 280.
    ————————-
    This is very bad news.

    The LDs must hope for a crowd pleasing budget, which the Tories allow them to take credit for, as a reward for their ‘good’ behaviour. Otherwise, I expect Labour support to solidfy, if not increase.
    8-)

  27. Alec,

    Yes the economic picture in the UK and Europe is very fragile. And the added ingredient this time is a looming energy crisis.

    The only place I can see an economic boom coming from is if the government abandon the deficit-reduction programme and go for large tax cuts. But then they would have to deal with admitting that their entire economic strategy so far wasn’t necessary. Credibility with the faithful shot to pieces.

    This is in fact much the same difficulty that Gordon Brown found himself in during the financial crisis: having maintained for many years the “golden rule” that debt should not exceed 40% of GDP over the cycle, then it was impossible for him to say what was actually required, namely that much greater debt is perfectly OK.

  28. Now this is interesting re LD Heath debate:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2012/mar/10/lib-dem-spring-conference-health

    So the “drop the bill” motion came higher (270 votes) to the SW motion (246) in first prefences. But the vote was held under STV, and SW won when the other two alternatives were eliminated.

  29. “I wonder if it’s possible for the Lib Dem vote to fall below 5%?”
    —————-
    Possible IMHO. The next few polls should be interesting. How many LD members will now tear up their cards and walk away ?

  30. Ah well, it appears they have voted to be sheep not sharks. In likelihood because too many on the left of the party have already quit. And now for a further round of “If we just support X, then surely we shall get reforms on Y”. Of course, there’s the slim chance that the “Support the Bill as Amended” will get a No vote, but that will not have any force in regards of dictating action of the Parliamentary Party. I wonder how many delegates were mislead into thinking otherwise.

  31. AMBER STAR

    @”This is very bad news.”

    It is -but we don’t know for whom yet.

    If Burnham et al are correct, and the Health reforms which will now become law, lead to mass privatisation of the NHS & the exclusion of thousands of NHS patients from beds occupied by the well off-then it will be very bad news for the coalition parties, and very good news for Labour.

    If, on the other hand, Clegg, Williams & Farron ( yes that is Tim Farron ! -(1) ) are correct , mass privatisation of the NHS does not occur, and the reforms begin to improve & integrate health care-then it might be very bad news for Labour.

    Being wrong on the Economy AND Health will take some defending in 2015.

    (1) http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/mar/08/liberal-democrats-apologising?newsfeed=true

  32. @Colin

    Doesn’t it strike you as a tad risky for the Conservatives that to be re-elected they must be right, against all criticism, on their handling of both how they applied the cuts *and* the NHS? (And relations with Europe… And free schools… And the social housing crisis… And disability benefits…)

    As they have now set things in motion, by juggling so many high-risk ideology driven policies all at once, they need for everything to show tangible signs of improvement. Maintaining the status quo won’t be good enough, they’ll have to improved standards of living from when they were elected in some appreciable way. Is this really the time to make so many dramatic and high-risk “Reforms”?

  33. @colin

    Do you recognise the political risk in making multiple high-profile high-risk sweeping ‘reforms’ at a time of economic turbulence?

  34. COLIN
    Alternatively Tim Montgomery could also be right – the health reforms actually go well, but due to fiscal problems (problems with growth, ageing population, new treatments), any problems on the NHS will be blamed on the reforms even if they have absolutely nothing to do with them.

    There’s also the risk that those the LibDems lose in the short-term (to Labour, Green, etc) over the NHS reforms aren’t recovered and any political benefit is reaped by the Conservatives (who’re unlikely, the closer we get to the election, to give any credit to their partners).

    I think that the spin will hurt the LibDems most on the NHS – The LibDems are spinning that it’s an issue of miscommunication (a narrative that failed with tuition fees) and that the only opposition to the bill is Labour opposition (which ignores the huge amount of effort that LibDem activists have put in to trying to block the bill – including some big names like Evan Harris).

  35. @Colin “Being wrong on the Economy AND Health will take some defending in 2015.”

    True but who is going to be on the defensive?

    I think Labour is right to take its chances on austerity being wrong for the economy and marketisation/ enforced local competition being wrong for the NHS.

    Everything to play for.

  36. JAYBLANC

    Of course-as does DC , I have no doubt.

    But what to do?-you come into power with a reforming agenda & find an EZ recession appears over the horizon, just when you are tackling a £157 bn pa deficit .

    Scrap all the “high profile ” reforms and concentrate on the public finances?

    That will probably mean none of them hit the Statute Book in this Parliament-(it has taken nearly two years to start getting stuff on the books.)

    And anyway-improving school education outcomes & refocusing university output on key areas is integral to economic recovery.

    So is Welfare reform-welfare to work pathways & benefit reform have to be in place to stop the upturn pulling in another wave of cheap/willing immigrant labour & leaving indigenous worklessness unchanged……which leads into immigration reforms.

    No-all these reforms are interconnected-Public Finances, Schools, Universities, Welfare, Immigration…….the Economy.
    So the task is more difficult than anticipated-so what it still has to be done together.

    NHS reform?

    Arguably it could have been done with less complexity & controversy.
    But having committed to maintaining funding, in a service which eats money-reform is absolutely vital-more integration of Health Care & Social Care, to stop hospitalisation for everything,& replace it with tailored locally designed , integrated solutions , which improve efficiency & output & reduce operating costs.

    So here again-the “luxury” of separating off public sector reform from public finances & economic reform is illusory.

    They all have to be done together-whatever the political & economic weather.

  37. Tinged

    Thanks.

    Yes he could-and the short term downsde for LDS which you postulate could be the case.

    But it’s up to them to ensure that it is short term.

    Who now really believes that the tuition fee deal is such a problem?

    Mu undergrad. grandchildren don’t even think about it-its only a cost after they graduate-and related to their future salary.

    LDs need to make sure that they tell the story effectively this time.

    I make the assumption that the story will turn out to be Shirley Williams’ version & not Andy Burnham’s :-)

    If AB is right, the coalition has no future anyway.

  38. Prediction for tonights Sunday Times YG.

    Labour 42%
    Tory 39%
    LD 7%

    I think some of the Tory vote had moved to the LD’s over recent weeks, but I think it has started to move back again.

  39. IANANTHONYJAMES.

    Sure.

    It’s a game of poker.

    Nothing is certain given the context we find ourselves in.

  40. COLIN
    “Who now really believes that the tuition fee deal is such a problem?”
    The voters that the LibDems lost over it and have failed to recover?
    The LibDems were solidly on 12-14% with yougov before the tuition fees, solidly on about 9% since.

    If there’s a repeat (although I can’t see how the LibDems could lose 3-5% over the NHS reforms – perhaps a stable 9% is the lowest figure it could hit), it won’t really matter as the damage will already be done.

    Which would obviously be fantastic news for the Tories – as they’d be able to sweep the south and get that much closer to a majority.

  41. R HUCKLE
    If we’re playing the prediction game –
    Lab 41(-1), Con 38(+1), Lib 9 (+1)

  42. @Colin

    “Scrap all the “high profile ” reforms and concentrate on the public finances?”

    When, as you say, on the brink of EZ recession, and probably one of our own? When in coalition government with an ‘out’ to say why you did not push them? When risks of those reforms are pointed out quite publicly?

    “to stop hospitalisation for everything,& replace it with tailored locally designed , integrated solutions , which improve efficiency & output & reduce operating costs.”

    I’m sorry, but I have no idea what any of those terms mean in practical realities. What exactly is the locally designed integrated solution to a broken leg? How exactly does efficiency for treating long-term illnesses improve by transferring funding control to GPs? Specifically how does transferring more hospitals into private ownership reduce operating costs?

    The problem with NHS reforms is no one seems able to explain the actual problems they are fixing, and how the fixes work to make the NHS better. It is simply not good enough to declare that reform for reform’s sake is always an improvement.

  43. @TingedFringe
    Yes – but will this depend on whether the LDs are prepared to vote through the boundary changes.

    Is it certain that 2015 GE will be 600 seats?

    I don’t think so. It is the next big suicidal decision for the LDs. You would think they had had enough of these after tuition fees and the NHS. I think these things come in threes!

  44. Colin,

    The tuition fee deal hasn’t started yet. All current students are on the old deal. No wonder your undergrad grandchildren don’t think about it.

  45. @Tingedfringe
    “Which would obviously be fantastic news for the Tories – as they’d be able to sweep the south and get that much closer to a majority.”

    The electoral calculus doesn’t add up there. Unless the voters opposed to the LibDem support for NHS reforms switch to the Conservatives, which would seem odd.

    There aren’t enough Lib Dem/Con marginals for the Conservatives to benefit from if Labour go above 40. Even on the new boundaries.

  46. Amber, I must confess that i do not quite understand. Who is the bad news for?

  47. TINGED FRINGE

    @”The voters that the LibDems lost over it and have failed to recover?”

    Yep-fair comment.

    Shirley Williams said on Sky just now that the amended NHS Bill is not properly understood.

    Unless they make bloody certain that it is understood they will just repeat the mistake they made over tuition fees.

    And in a couple of years we could have medical professionals thinking-mmm it’s not like we thought…………whilst another cohort of LibDem voters have marched off to Labour.

    There is a danger here for Labour though.

    If their VI gains are substantially built from disaffected LD 2010 voters, rather than any positive attraction from Labour policy………..and come 2015, NC somehow manages to demonstrate to his departed flock, that the Labour rhetoric & blandishments were false, then Labour will be in for one helluva shock.

    But it may just be that those people were really Labour supporters all along-the fringe who like perpetual lefty protest in opposition rather than the compromises & disappointments of government. And they have just found there real home now.

    Who knows?

  48. IANANTHONYJAMES
    If the LibDems get the HoL (can’t see how they wouldn’t) reform, they’ll back the boundary changes.

    “There aren’t enough Lib Dem/Con marginals for the Conservatives to benefit from if Labour go above 40.”
    That’s assuming that Labour do go above 40 – there’s lots of other scenarios.
    LibDem voters getting fed up and just not voting (Like Con voters 1992-1997 or Lab voters 1997-2010).
    LibDem voters backing smaller parties, etc.

  49. @ Ann Miles

    I think it is bad news for the NHS & bad news for the LibDems that their conference didn’t vote to oppose Lanley’s NHS bill.

    Sorry that I didn’t make my views clear about the NHS itself before I got into the politics surrounding it.
    8-)

  50. JAYBLANC

    @”What exactly is the locally designed integrated solution to a broken leg?”

    Hospital I guess to get it fixed-but not necessarily endless follow up appointments there. Perhaps monitoring & physio in the local clinic or health centre.

    THere are some interesting accounts of reforms & integration under CCG commissioning already in place.

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