This week’s YouGov results for the Sunday Times are up here. Topline figures are CON 35%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13% – a Labour lead of one point

28% now think the economy is in a good state, 36% a bad state. It’s still negative, but it’s creeping ever upwards – 28% is the highest YouGov have recorded since they started asking the question in 2010. Similarly on people’s own economic optimism, 19% expect their household finances to get better over the next twelve months, 31% expect them to continue to get worse – the net figure (“the feel good factor”) of minus 12 is still negative, but it’s the least negative YouGov have recorded since 2010.

YouGov also reasked some questions on Gaza that they initially asked a week ago. Public opinion has moved slightly towards the Palestinians – a week ago 23% said they were more sympathetic towards the Palestinians, now it’s 27%, but the broad picture remains the same: most people aren’t more favourable to either side, both sides are considered equally to blame for civilian casualties, and both sides’ actions are considered unjustified.

The Sunday Times also had a new Panelbase poll on the Scottish referendum. Topline figures are YES 41%, NO 48%. Excluding don’t knows that works out at YES 46%. Panelbase use slightly different wordings for their polls for the Sunday Times and for Yes Scotland, and it’s unclear whether they make a slight difference to the results or not. It doesn’t make much difference to the trend either way: since March Panelbase’s level of YES support has been steady at 46%-48%.

129 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 35, LAB 36, LD 8, UKIP 13”

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  1. the ukip vote seems quite solid…

  2. Good Morning All.

    Near a dead heat.

  3. A dead heat equals a Labour victory, though.

  4. One little statistic worth noting is the “Left”/”Right” split for YouGov VI. (Left = Lab + LibDem VI, Right = Con + UKIP.)

    A couple of years ago that statistic was regularly in the region of 51/41. Today, typically, it is 44/48. Answers on a postcard …


    @”Answers on a postcard …”

    The “left” LD VI is already inside the Lab VI now.

  6. Greens would see themselves as ‘left’ – as would quite a few UKIP supporters.

  7. There’s also a lot of polling in the YouGov-ST on the aftermath of the shooting down of MH17 and possible sanctions against Russia. It includes one of my favourite polling details of the summer so far.

    Asked in the context of Currently the European Union can impose sanctions against Russia only if all 28 member countries agree., panellists were offered the choice of agreeing with [The EU] Should be able to impose sanctions when a majority of EU states agree – even if this means individual countries such as Britain have to do things they don’t agree with and they did by 47% to 27%.

    And who were the most enthusiastic group? – UKIP voters by 57-23. And the least? Lib Dems 43-35.

  8. Agreed , the UKIM is holding firm at 13% approx.

    I still believe the next election will all depend on the UKIP vote.

    If it holds firm , Labour get in.
    If UKIP voters vote ‘tactically’ to keep Labour out , it could be another hung Parliament.
    If some / half of the UKIP voters go back to the Tories , they could swing it.


  9. I know ikts been said before, but how realistic though is an opinion poll now – compared with the real choice after a 3 week election campaign (please let it be 3 weeks not 4!)
    Not least in respect of ‘protest parties’ like UKIP?

  10. A lot of criticism on BBC blogs this morning to the idea of weekly PMQ’s for the public, I think it’s fraught with danger for the incumbent PM. Just think of the potential situations they could be put in and the kneejerk reactions that might follow in terms of panicky policy changes. Thoughts?

  11. let’s keep the politics out of it. we all have quite clear positions but this is a site where we can just talk about numbers and election outcomes….

    The libs are dead in the water. neither of the main parties will get 40%. I agree the great unknown is the ukip vote. if the tories squeeze this below about 8%, they can even be the largest party…if ukip are above 10%, i can’t see even how the blues beat labour in the popular vote…ukip is certainly the unknown in the equation.

    The problem Cameron has is that the many of the UKIP voters he dismissed as “fruitcakes and closet racists” are quite happy to see the back of him, even if that means letting labour in. civil wars- which basically a lot of the ukip/tory battle is- are often more bitter than actual wars.

  12. @ Colin (FPT)

    Like Jim Jam says you’d need a polling expert to explain why a crossbreak might be more dubious than another but the best way I can put the principle would be:

    If you have a sample that has 2010 voters of Con 10% Lab 56% LD 23% The Lab figure would get weighted back down to 29% to compensate but it should be highly accurate because they have a bigger sample size than they need. The LD should be accurate as well being the exact sample size they wanted.

    However the Con 10% will not be representative because it is too small a sample and subject to the preferences of less than 1/3rd of the number of people you wanted to sample.

    The voting intention of that group could then mess with the result and is not compensated for by other groupings who have perfectly acceptable sample sizes. A bit like when they found the only little old lady in the village voting BNP.

    I’m sure the reasons for disputing a crossbreak are far more complex than what I have described and I doubt it is ever as extreme as my example.

    Not saying this applies to this poll just the principle of why a particular poll may not be accurate. Not even saying I am right but that is how I understand it and there is some logic to it I think.

  13. On Scotland, I’d say that 46-48% could maybe be good enough for Scotland to be independent withon 10-20 years.

    You see, what is noticeable in the polls is that whenever there has been a strong push or lots of comment from Westminster, the yes share has gone up. And since spring the no campaign has been remarkedly disciplined – little engagement by Cameroon and Osborne, and even the anti-Scottish back benchers (who believe and like to say that Scotland is a subsidy junckie) have all shut up. Add to that that the Tories, LIbDem and Labour have all made promises for further devolution – though interstingly some different ones.

    So, I guess if the yes vote is 40-42%, then the issue is burried for quite a while. If it is closer, and if then the unionist parties cannot agree on a package, and the steady anti-Scottish drone restarts, then, I believe, many waverers that have voted no (or at least not voted yes) will start rethinking.

  14. SHEVII

    Thanks for persisting in your efforts to educate me :-)

    Why wouldn’t the Con sample your example be weighted up?

  15. Christian – possibly.

    The 2 age groups mist No are the young and the old.

    So whilst, not wishing to be indelicate, some of the ‘Unionist’ vote will die off the younger age group will become more relevant.
    Perhaps it would be anyone below 35 in 20 years time determining the outcome in a 2034 referendum.

  16. Shevii – my point to Colin was a little different and rather simpler; indulge me using some hypothetical numbers to demonstrated.

    For 1000 2010 LD voters say the real VI at this time is:

    350 LD
    350 Lab
    100 Cons
    150 the UKIP
    50 others (inc DK/WV etc)

    A sample of 100 may well be perfectly weighted with demographics but could be due to sample error give for example

    30 Labour
    15 Cons

    with the rest in perfect proportion giving Lab 10% of 20010 LD or 2.3% VI less gain v cons,

    This is pure sample variation as it could be the other way giving an extra 1,5 approx VI gain for LAB.

    38 lab
    7 Con

    Hence we have an MOE and if a number of the cross-breaks skew in the same direction without compensating skews elsewhere we either have a real change or random sample variation (or a combination)

  17. This is still only one poll, like those 7% Labour leads we had recently. If the lead is 3-4%, then we should expect 1% or 0% leads sometimes. Otherwise could it be something to do with this “economy back to normal” message? If so then perhaps it could be argued the government being behind in the polls at this point is not so good. If there is a trend at the moment, it seems very slightly toward a larger Labour lead.

  18. I don’t know if anyone else is getting this, but it’s nice to see Amazon advertising my books on the left side bar. :)

    If no-one else is getting it, it seems a bit pointless for Amazon to advertise my own books to me only!

  19. @Colin – “The thing which intrigues me is the fine line between a small Lab votes lead-which would justify a LD coalition with them-and a small Con votes lead which would justify a LD coalition with them.”

    I think this is something we both agree on! I think I’m correct in saying that we both tend towards a hung parliament as the most likely option next year, so these calculations really would be in play.

    One of the key questions goes beyond numbers though. If no party gets a majority, the first question for the third party is whether to use vote numbers or seats won as the judgement metric – that in itself is no easy task.

    However, I think there is also a much more political question over policies and perceptions. Logically, a third party really shouldn’t worry about what the numbers are – they should pitch in with the party that they see fits their policy objectives best, even if they have fewer seats or lost the popular vote.

    It doesn’t happen like this though, as there is the pressure not to support a party observed as ‘the loser’. This is where perceptions matter. In the days following the 2010 GE there was much talk on the left of just about having the numbers for a coalition. This was politically never going to happen – even if brown held an extra 10 seats. He was perceived as being ‘the loser’.

    What happens with perceptions in 2015 is going to be fascinating. If Cameron loses seats and Milliband gains, I think it will be difficult for Cons to claim to have won, even if they end up with more seats – but this will be a very fine judgement.

    In large part it will depend on people’s expectations. At present, people don’t appear to expect Milliband to win, and there is a general assumption Tories will do better than present polls suggest. Should these current expectations persist to polling day, and the results then diverge significantly from the expectations, that might mean Lab are seen as ‘the winners’ even without a majority, and possibly even with a smaller number of seats.

    Can a modern PM remain in post with a second coalition, despite losing seats? Especially if their prospective coalition partners are likely to lose significant numbers of seats as well? We’re really in a tough battle of perceptions here, and I think we move beyond simple arithmetic.

  20. @ Norbold

    Glad you’re not the only one! Didn’t realise they were your books though! LOL

    I’ve been moidered by lawnmowers adverts for the last 2 weeks on this and many other websites. Cookies!

  21. On this poll and the economic numbers, it is just worth pondering that the latest prices/earnings data suggest a much wider gap of over 1% emerging again, and we are also only 10 days since the Markit Household Finances survey produced the headline “Household finances deteriorate at sharpest rate for six months”.

    Clearly, these bits of data are not compatible with the findings in this YG survey. This might suggest that the YG sampling is a bit skewed this time, or that the recent publicity has made people respond more positively, or that the Markit data is wrong.

    I think we can assume a reasonable level of accuracy in the ONS inflation/earnings data, but that isn’t necessarily incompatible with rising confidence. While it can’t last indefinitely, people can be getting worse off today but expect to be better off next year, and the increase in workplace activity suggested by the Markit survey suggests this might be part of the picture.

    Either way, real household incomes will have a key role to play, I feel. We just don’t yet know exactly what that role will be.

  22. @Miserable Old Git

    I am in permanent automod and I am concerned that you did not see my prediction of July 26th, 2014 at 2:43 pm.
    Can you please confirm that you have seem it?

  23. I believe that the survey period for this poll began on Thursday evening and finished late Frday afternoon or early evening. On that basis, it is unlikely that the GDP figures will have had much influence on the findings.

  24. @ Colin

    The Tory sample would be weighted up but because the original sample is subject to a high MOE the weighting might not help. It would be like going into a pub and finding one Tory 2010 voter in the whole pub (who had moved to UKIP) and 50 Lab supporters. You can weight to correct for how many Tory and Lab supporters you should find in the pub (weight up the Tory vote and weight down the Lab vote) but If you did weighting on the Tory number you’d say every single Tory voter in the country had moved to UKIP. If you weighted the Lab sample down you’d feel more confident you had the right result for them but because of the Tory vote/weighting you wouldn’t have the right result for the poll overall.

    I’m not sure I am educating you- just educating you on my own thought processes (lol). I might have it all wrong and in fact polling organisations can compensate for these types of things and the sample size of 1,000 stops my scenario from happening. It might help if Anthony intervened!

    @ Jim Jam

    Understood. I think though that is the equivalent of saying you just got unlucky with your full sample and not representative of a typical poll.

    Not sure how you determine that from crossbreaks though. I’m sure Anthony said you generally would expect crossbreaks to balance out and somehow a sample of 1,000 is expected to iron out any differences between individual crossbreaks.

    I make it simple for myself and ignore daily polls until you have a coupe of weeks of polls saying the same thing..

  25. ALEC


    Yes all those considerations have come to mind.

    NC may well have the reins in his hands. Its going to be fascinating.

  26. Re – LibDem support options post election. I suspect that next year there will be a group of LibDem MPs who will oppose a further coalition with the Tories almost regardless of what the figures are. I am thinking of people such as Kennedy, Pugh, Sanders , perhaps Cable , plus a few others. Clegg will not have the authority he had in 2010 , and I expect some MPs to simply ignore him should he suggest that the coalition be renewed.If the LibDems manage to retain – say- 35 seats and 6 – 10 say ‘No Way’ to a another Tory-led government, Clegg will find it very difficult to prevail. The membership might be faced with a ballot akin to a leadership election with different groups of LibDem MPs campaigning for their preferred options.

  27. Going dark now SHEVII-but I appreciate your efforts.

    Back to 4 or 5 on Monday I expect-thenh we will all forget this one.

  28. @ Graham

    It depends how many of us are left! Personally, if there’s another HP, I would much prefer sticking with the status quo for another 5 years and swallowing hard at times but then the Tories have had to and would have to do just the same.

  29. @Colin – in fact, the corollary of my 11.56 post is that Con supporters should really now be talking up expectations of a Lab win. If they persist in developing the impression that Ed is useless and will never be PM, anything other than a Con majority will be see potentially as a failure, handing Lab a PR excuse to go for a coalition as the smaller party.

    If however, people begin to expect Lab to win and they don’t, Cameron may be able to claim ‘victory’ despite having lost seats.

  30. @ MOG- maybe you can add ICM Wisdom index into your competition :-)

    “In today’s ICM/Sunday Telegraph Wisdom Index poll, the Liberal Democrats are predicted to receive 14 per cent of the vote with Ukip on 15 per cent, the Tories on 30 per cent and Labour on 33 per cent.”

  31. Alec
    “At present, people don’t appear to expect Milliband to win, and there is a general assumption Tories will do better than present polls suggest.”

    Ben Page of Ipsos Mori yesterday tweeted that Cameron needs an 11 point lead in order to gain a majority.

    I’m not sure how Clegg would treat a hung parliament – go with the party whose policies he has upheld for the previous 5 years or do a volte face & support the party whose policies many of his electorate believed they voted for in 2010.

    Whatever happens, it’s going to be interesting.

  32. If there is a hung Parliament at the GE next year we can speculate who might form a coalition with whom.

    However my question is, does a coalition benefit both parties or even one of them? It seems to me because there is such a disparity in basic political outlook between the Tories and LibDems neither party has gained much in the eyes of its supporters. Tories think their party’s policies have been watered down by the LibDems, while LibDems think their leadership has compromised its principles.

    This is a sweeping generalisation, I know, but the result we see is the LibDems on their way to a vanishing point. The Tories meanwhile have made little inroad into Labour’s lead for all their success with the economy and liberal reforms.

    Rather would it not be better for the leading party in 2015, especially if it’s the Tories, to form a minority government and sink or swim by the policies they really want? Tory or Labour, in either case the party in power can say, “Look, we are doing our best for the country and these other scoundrels are just trying to stop us and mess things up.”

    I remember as far back as the 1964 GE when Labour won under Harold Wilson, one of the politically shrewdest leaders any party has had. His majority I recall was five, and after a by-election in Smethwick that went wrong, for all Wilson’s shrewdness, three.

    The point was that Labour was back in power after thirteen years and having got that foothold Wilson exploited it to its maximum and won the 1966 GE with a safe majority.

  33. @Alec

    The 2015 election will be a good one to lose just as 1983 and 1997 were good ones to win.

  34. ALEC

    Not too sure I agree with that.

    Clearly if Cons have less votes they are out.

    If they have most votes I think they can argue they didn’t lose. More to the point it gives NC a peg to hang a further coalition with Cons on,

    Of course-the issues of parliamentary numbers and the desire of Con/LD MPs & Party members to actually agree a new coalition, are something else.

  35. @Stutter

    If the minority government party is outvoted by a combination of the two remaining large parties – they could then state that the government is trying to push something through that is inappropriate for the country and they (or “parliament”) stopped that. Positive public perceptions are helped by being on the right side of the argument.

    I think the minimum level for a workable minority government would be to have seats exceeding that of the two remaining large parties – if the opposition wants to outvote the government, they need more parties onboard.

  36. @Bantams
    I am pretty certain that a fair number of LibDem MPs do not share your view and – unlike 2010 – will not be bounced into supporting another Tory-led government. Clegg’s authority has already gone to a large extent, and I don’t see the MPs I listed above paying much heed to his views. He will be seen as a busted flush and will be on his way out.

  37. @Stutter
    Smethwick was actually lost by Labour at the 1964 election. The defeated Labour MP – Patrick Gordon-Walker – was subsequently defeated at the Leyton by-election!

  38. Shev II,

    that is the equivalent of saying you just got unlucky with your full sample and not representative of a typical poll. Not sure how you determine that from crossbreaks though.

    You can’t from looking at a single poll. You need a baseline to compare it to.

    Because I have a database of all the recent YouGov polls, I know what the average/typical crossbreaks look like, so I can see when an individual poll looks abnormal. If there are atypical crossbreaks I know that it’s either a sample, giving us a poll at the edge of MoE (by far the most likely possibility), or there has been a sudden movement in real VI.

    With YouGov I don’t even worry about the weighing because it’s complicated and I trust them- if something odd has happened with the weighing to give them strange looking crossbreaks, it will show up in the crossbreaks themselves, and if the weighing is off but the small sample was typical the crossbreaks will look normal and we don’t really have to worry about the weighing.

  39. * a bad sample, that is.

  40. I very much doubt the liberal democrats left in the house of commons will support another tory-led coalition; it would mark the end of their party, essentially. The liberal democrats would become, in all effect, an adjunct of the tories like the liberal unionists and national liberals before them. They would be permanently hobbled at 8-12% of the vote, if that.

  41. @ Graham

    I don’t totally subscribe to your theory, IMO there will be a split with some like Nick Clegg, David Laws and Danny Alexander on one side who I think will all survive the GE and Charles Kennedy and Adrian Sanders (very little chance of survivingthe GE though) on the other. John Pugh is interesting, will probably survive the GE but I think he’s likely, on balance, to be with the NC clan when it comes to the crunch. I also think Vince will play clever and hedge his bets, it’s not sewn on that he’ll favour a LibLab pact. Another factor is he’ll be 72 around the time of the GE & might be considered by some as too old to be a potential leader so he could be kingmaker.

    Cutting to the chase, if DC has mosts seats or most votes there’s a strong call that we’ll have another LibCon arrangement in the event of a HP.

  42. Peter Crawford

    Yes I agree, I think a much reduced LDem party could not form another pact with the conservatives. Therefore if the Tories are the largest party but some way sort of a majority who could they partner with? SNP?! It could well be a bit of a mess. I personally think this is quite a likely result.

  43. The only other real viable partner for the Conservatives is the DUP which is clearly fraught with risks to N.I’s delicate politics.

  44. I don’t believe there will be another coalition. The LibDems won’t support the Tories again, particularly Tories elected with an anti-ECHR policy. Labour won’t want to keep LibDem ministers in office and will, if necessary, opt to govern as a minority but with some form of pact with the LibDems.

  45. I actually think Adrian has a fair chance of holding on in Torbay. He has been one of the LibDem MPs most critical of the coalition and recently came out – after the local & Euro elections – with Pugh in favour of a change of leadership. As such he might find it easier to retain tactical anti – Tory tactical Labour votes than most of his colleagues.

  46. For those interested Ed Miliband’s speech on Friday is being shown in it’s entirety on the BBC Parliament Channel at 17.05 today.

  47. Speermint,
    you make my point far more clearly than I did.
    I know only one poll but does today’s fall in thr category of:-

    ‘it’s either a sample, giving us a poll at the edge of MoE (by far the most likely possibility), or there has been a sudden movement in real VI’?

    I suppose a bit of both is a third possibility, some movement exaggerated by a skewed random sample

  48. What if Labour lose most of their Scottish seats to the SNP? The reason I ask is that 46% Yes will probably not vote Lab in. 2015 ? In that case what % would Lab need in rUK to win a majority?

  49. Its almost certain that Labour’s vote/seats will go up and the combined coalition’s combination down – probably quite a lot.

    Even if Labour don’t get an OM, which I think they will, its hard to see a result that screams out for more of the same coalition partnership, if the above scenario plays out.

  50. Just to put the image issue into perspective there’s an article in the Observer today reporting that the Conservative Women’s organisation is warning against the Tories mounting personal attacks on Miliband, warning that it could turn off the public and reinforce the nasty party image.

    Perhaps a smart game plan all along by Ed!

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