This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 29%, LAB 40%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 10%, Others 10%. While the eleven point lead for Labour is pretty typical of what YouGov have been showing this week, the 29% for the Conservatives is the first time YouGov have shown them dropping below 30% since October 2004, and the 10 points for UKIP is their highest. Normal caveats apply – it’s just one poll, sure, it may be the start of a decline into the 20s… or they may be right back above 30 in the next poll.

For most of the two years since the general election the Conservatives remained at or only just below the 36% they received in May 2010. Since the budget that support has finally started to crumble, with most polls showing the Conservatives dropping into the low thirties. However, a lot of that lost support seems to be going to smaller parties, rather than to Labour.

I’ll do a fuller report tomorrow when the tables are published.

UPDATE: There is also a poll for Lord Ashcroft in the Sunday Telegraph, looking at political attitudes of ethnic minorities. The survey shows what we’ve previously seen in the Ethnic Minority British Election Study – Labour have an overwhelming advantage amongst black voters, the Conservatives do slightly better (or at least, slightly less badly, given Labour still have a big advantage) amongst Asian voters and Hindus.

UPDATE2: Much more detail from the Ashcroft/Populus poll here.

125 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 29, LAB 40, LD 11, UKIP 10”

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  1. Gosh !

  2. Is this a drop in labour support or just an outlier? I’d expect a slightly higher result than this for labour, but I’m not surprised by the tory result.

  3. Cons down to 29 – crikey !

  4. The Tories will be privately worrying. They are currently being ridiculed in the media. Even people that saw Cameron as a new type of Conservative, with a likeable personality, who could be a strong leader, are now seemingly changing their minds. We will see when the leaders ratings are next released, whether this anecdotal evidence is proved.

    Could we see a change in polls next week for Ken Livingstone, as some of the unpopularity of the Tories starts to affect Boris ?

  5. Effect of the recession news?

  6. The tables are going to be interesting. I suspect a new low for the Con2010 retention.

  7. Probably reflects respondents preferences for the upcoming locals and GLA elections.

    If these kinds of numbers are reflected in voting patterns on Wednesday then it is going to be a disastrous night for both governing parties not just the yellows (for whom it has been going to be a terrible night for months now).

    Could this be Labours best night in the locals since 1996?

    The only bright spark for The Tories will be the swatting away of KL- though (most) Labourites will be quietly happy to see the back of this Gallowayite who shamelessly tried to play the Islamist race card during the campaign.

  8. Alastair Darling had a authoritative article in today’s ft. We may be seeing the outcome of something Damien McBride wrote about last week. That the Conservatives have not planned different policy options in advance and must now run round like headless chickens.

  9. It fits in well with my own belief, that as the Coalition loses favour, Labour will only pick up a limited amount of the Con/Libdem vote, (I’m surprised they’re 40%) that the smaller parties will benefit, UKIP ex-Tories, Greens ex-Libdems.

    If however Labour were to dump Ed.M. then they’d be polling 45% or even above.

    `Labourites will be quietly happy to see the back of this Gallowayite who shamelessly tried to play the Islamist race card during the campaign.`

    I think we see enough KL bashing already

  11. “Could we see a change in polls next week for Ken Livingstone, as some of the unpopularity of the Tories starts to affect Boris ?”

    I don’t think that’s very likely because despite their party labels, I think both are seen as individuals and currently Boris is popular.

    What I do think could be very interesting is if there’s a by-election in a safe Conservative seat or one where the main threat is not Labour. I’d be very tempted to place a bet on UKIP winning their first parliamentary seat. (I think that at least one MP has defected to UKIP but none has gone on to win re-election.)

  12. 11% lead is nice for us reds, even if it is only one poll which maybe a bit above average, but woud be happier if was 43/32 with UKIP back on 4.

  13. Bad poll for Tories,but not good for Labour…They need to start picking some more coalition deserters.But I also suspect that the sample may be a favourable one for Lib Dems as usually Labour pick up VI from them

  14. Long-term the loss of London mayor will probably be good for Labour as it would keep Boris out of the way past 2015.

    The public seem not to connect him to the national Tory part and Cameron is happy for him to be so as long as he is kept busy.

    I have no time for Johnson – I think is is an amoral opportunist and actually prefer Cameron than him.

    We here the Tories go on about Ed M but I would be more worried about the state of your own leadership than that of the other party – he is losing his grip. I cannot see a ready replacement though – unlike when Thatcher was ousted.

    I can see the Tories now start tacking to the right imminently with larger cuts – the LD will find it difficult to prevent this

  15. Surely at 10 % UKIP is becoming a real force. I wonder if the Conservative’s are starting to regret their modernization of the party. Looks from the polls like they lost their base but didn’t pick up anyone else to replace them.

    Also very interesting, does anyone have any guesses on how low Cameron can go in the polls before back bench mutiny? I am wondering if things are already being put in motion should Thursday go badly. This is a very interesting time to be watching the polls indeed!

  16. Does anyone know what the government approval figure was for this poll?

  17. Charles Stuart – “I think that at least one MP has defected to UKIP but none has gone on to win re-election”

    No one is quite certain, Bob Spink resigned the Conservative whip and may or may not have joined UKIP, it was never really cleared up. Anyway, eventually he made it clear he was an Independent MP, not a UKIP MP. The other one you may be thinking of is George Gardiner, who joined the Referendum party after being deselected back in pre-UKIP days, but failed to hold the seat.

  18. Given the unusual spread of the numbers, I think I’ll wait to see the sample sizes before believing it. Perhaps the ‘Rest of the South’ and or London crossbreaks are adversely affecting the national poll results.

  19. Chief Constable of Gloucesterhire has resigned in protest at ConLib approach to policing.

    I wonder what @NeilA thinks of that if he is lurking.

  20. @CharlesStuart, if you read Nadine Dorries twitter, it makes one wonder. Does anyone know if defectors tend to wait for a bad news day to announce a defection?

  21. Just a quick comment that the leaking of support to small parties fits exactly with what I’ve been hearing on the doorstep. There are a lot of people out there with a “pox on all your houses” attitude towards the big parties.

    And, as I’m here, how do I go about asking to display my party colours? I created my account after Anthony withdrew the option.

  22. There may be another poll out tonight. Sunday Express reporting that 82% think Cameron is out of touch.

  23. Whenever the government is in trouble,they blame the immigrants…That`s one good way of attracting immigrant voters(not)

  24. greenchristian – try again now, you should have the option added (I need to overhaul the way I do it – it’s not appearing by default for new users)

  25. Apparently Cameron`s ratings in the -30`s in this poll…At some point,will Milliband overtake him and become the least ugly sister?

  26. @bazsc – “I can see the Tories now start tacking to the right imminently with larger cuts”

    Boris Johnson has an interview in the Sunday Telegraph, where he presents himself as the tax-cutting, crime-fighting, small-government, eurosceptic face of Conservatism. He also refers to Osborne as “the jaws of death”.

    In October 2004 the Tory party was in a spin over UKIP (and at 29% on YouGov)… pushed into fouth place by them at the Hartlepool byelection. A UKIP funder defected back to the Conservatives, (David Cameron, the Conservatives’ policy chief, denied that a deal had been struck, telling Sky News that “we are not going to do any deals with anybody”, while promising to take back powers from Bruxelles). David Davis was warning that Ukip could lose the party between 30 and 50 seats at the general election unless the Tories concentrated on traditional rightwing issues such as crime and immigration..

    Roger Knapman was facing a leadership challenge from Robert Kilroy-Silk, and the threat from Ukip subsided at the 2005 GE.

    Meanwhile Ashcroft’s polling suggests that Cameron’s commitment to same-sex marriage could cost the party “up to 30 seats in a general election”, with UKIP benefiting most from the drop in Tory support on this issue.

  27. @AW It’s there now. Thank you. :)

  28. BillyBob – the gay marriage thing isn’t from Ashcroft, its a ComRes thing commissioned by the coalition 4 marriage. I’d wait to see the tables before giving it any credence – polls commissioned by pressure groups professing to show that their pet issue is really important and will swing lots of votes tend to be rather dubious.

  29. Billy Bob

    Thanks for the context setting

    I would love to be a fly-on-the-wall in the private club rooms.

    If this continued air of incompetence and paradox of trying to be liberal and right-wing at the same time continues then what will the future look like for Cameron..As I said a defeat for Johnson would be a disaster for him (and possibly us).

    The LD are looking more and more out on a limb in trying to maintain a coherent coalition

  30. Sudden drop in Others from high teens to 10%. ?

  31. Amber
    I pray for the good health of A Christie every night. He is the authentic SNP voice for whom it is risable for anyone to imagine that A Salmond can be subject to control.
    For an informed nationalist view see again Lallands Peat Worrier

  32. Pay no heed to any social issue polling from ComRes, particularly on the Same-Sex Marriage issue. It was made painfully clear from the Catholic Voice polling that they allow their clients to write the questions in the poll to prompt the answers they want.

  33. Apologies AW, I was reading that from a slightly confusing Telegraph article which is reporting both polls (and the Boris interview) in the same article.

  34. +11%. Not enough for London. Yet. But is this +11 actually + 8, +11 or +14? That is the question.

    If Monday’s YG can show a Boris lead,of 3% or under, the nightmare scenario is still on for the Tories. Boris/Tories need Boris to be +5 or more to ease their nerves.

  35. From the Ashcroft poll I found it interesting that all races and groups had a higher percentage saying they felt affinity for Labour than Conservative, and similarly higher percentages of all groups said they would never vote Conservative than would never vote Labour.

    Does this suggest that Labour supporters are more tribal than Tories?

  36. Prediction

    Boris v Ken near as dammit neck and neck on Monday

  37. pete b

    no it suggests a more widespread hate for Tories than hate for Labour. But then there’s more poor people than rich.

  38. Ozwald: that ‘others’ figure is without UKIP. So with them is 20%.

  39. Pete B
    I don’t think so. Rather the reverse. Labour is the broadest brand in appeal compared to all but the least intense compared to most
    Hence in contradiction to Statgeek, Labour fear low turn outs because their broadly spread voters are most likely to stay at home where as Tories, Sinn Fein, Ukip or Snp are more likely to come out.
    The mention of UKIP does though point to a potential for change in brand identity.

  40. @Weswhite
    “Ozwald: that ‘others’ figure is without UKIP. So with them is 20%.”
    Thanks, that makes sense. Remains to be seen whether or not UKIP replace LD in regular third place.

  41. Pete B & Nick P – note that the sample isn’t of the country as a whole, it’s of the area of the country with the highest concentration of ethnic minorties (such that it covered the areas that contain 70% of Britain’s ethnic minorities). Hence the white group there are not white Britons as a whole, but white Britons living in more ethnically diverse parts of Britain, which will also be the more urban parts of Britain.

    Hence, for example, the fact that the sample had considerably more people who voted Labour in 2010 than Conservative.

    This doesn’t invalidate the survey at all – if anything it’s quite useful when it comes to the poll’s main purpose of looking at BME political attitudes, as it means we can compare the attitudes of white and BME voters living in the same area. It does mean the overall figures though aren’t representative of Britain as a whole.

  42. NickP
    Has there ever been a survey of relative wealth of supporters of different parties?

    I know that it’s a common assumption that the rich vote Tory and the poor vote Labour, and there may be some truth in it, but I’d be very interested to see an actual distribution of wealth of supporters of each party.

    Though the Tories certainly have some very wealthy donors, many professional and other well-paid types such as TV personalities seem to support Labour these days.

  43. Anthony
    Thanks for the clarification. I did read that, but then forgot it.

  44. Pete

    I thought the cross break on YouGov with ABC1s and DE2s or whatever was effectively rich and poor. The Professionals and the manual workers.

  45. If, and I know that it’s a big if, UKIP can sustain this surge in support and translate it into electoral performance, then this is absolutely toxic for the Conservatives. It’s deadly for them in two ways. Firstly, it’s a potentially lethal threat to them in marginals where Labour is running a close second. An improved UKIP showing lets Labour in. Secondly, it may push Cameron rightwards in an attempt to reclaim the voters he’s losing in their droves to UKIP. This is a cul-de-sac for him because it takes him down the road that destroyed Hague’s leadership; move right and reclaim the zealots but, at the same time, lose the newly acquired centrists. He really is in a terrible pickle.

    @Pete B

    “From the Ashcroft poll I found it interesting that all races and groups had a higher percentage saying they felt affinity for Labour than Conservative, and similarly higher percentages of all groups said they would never vote Conservative than would never vote Labour.”

    This has beens borne out in other polling too, most notably YouGov’s poll for IPPR last September which found that the Tories were fishing in the smallest pool of potential voters of all the three major parties. It’s another enormous boulder that they have to roll up their electoral mountain and probably explains why 40% seems a bridge too far for them.

  46. RAF/Nick P

    Polls have once in recent weeks shown a lead for BJ of less than 3% and the Mayoral polls have shown little correlation with national polls.

    I fully expect BJ to be +4 or more in next poll and +4 or more on Thursday in the actual results: it is a classic ‘least worst candidate’ election and Londin s not Bradford West.

    Labour blew it when they did not pick OK- IMHO she would have pasted BJ!

  47. I think we’re seeing the tories abandoning Cameron for Farage.The PM seems to have managed to offend both his friends AND his opponents. Quite an achievement in its way I suppose.

  48. @RAF

    Last two YouGov’s before the 2008 contest (28th April/1st May):

    Boris 46%/43%, Ken 35%/36%.

    Actual result: Boris 42%, Ken 36%.

  49. The most amazing thing about this poll is the 20% for non-LibLabCon.

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