Two polls in the Sunday papers. The weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%. That means both the YouGov polls since Cameron’s conference speech have shown a small Tory lead, though it’s worth noting that that the Populus poll on Friday did not show any movement to the Conservatives so the trend is not all one way. The more important caveat is that the polls were taken in the context of very good publicity for the Conservatives from their conference – we don’t know if it will last once the agenda moves on to, say, the expected UKIP by-election win on Thursday.

On that subject the Sunday papers also have the first poll of the Rochester and Strood by-election, conducted by Survation for the Mail on Sunday. Topline figures there are CON 31%(-18), LAB 25%(-3), LDEM 2%(-14), UKIP 40%(n/a), Other 1%(-5). UKIP start out with a lead, but it’s clearly not the complete walk in the park that polling for the Clacton by-election has shown. As commentators have suggested, this one looks like it will be a more competitive fight.

447 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times shows another Tory lead, plus Survation Rochester & Strood poll”

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  1. Looks like a narrowing of the polls – whether it’s sustained is another matter, it’s all pointing to a very interesting election in 2015 though.

    As for Labour, they’d be better off keeping the ‘dream team’ of Ed Miliband & Ed Balls out of the lime light as much as possible. I’d consider myself a floating voter (and still an undecided one) but am very much unconvinced by the Labour front bench in general.

  2. It’s a bit far to say a Labour win in H&M is interesting ;)

  3. The Ashcroft polls do not pass the Lurker credibility test. Stats which are way out of whack from what is expected usually end up to be wrong. Ashcroft polls too often show Con+Lab at sub-65% which I find difficult to believe.

    I also thought this was the case when they showed the Tories sub-30 in case anyone accuses me of wishful thinking.

  4. @Mr Nameless

    Thanks for the H&M info :-)


    “With a UKIP victory certain in Clacton, and a Labour victory seemingly certain in Heywood, we live in interesting times”

    But don’t forget, a Tory defeat in Clacton is already “priced in” according to the media and therefore won’t damage Cameron in any way, just like the Tories coming third in a nation wide election for the first time in history in Euro 2014.

    If only dear old Michael Foot had such a spin machine going for him in the early 80s – MPs defecting to another party and the loss of a safe Labour seat like Bermondsey in a by-election – already “priced in” – priceless!

  6. Paul A

    You forget the obvious early-1980s spin line of having a Lab+Alliance coalition beating the unpopular and weird Mrs Thatcher.

  7. Lurker

    Ashcroft does seem particularly good for UKIP/greens/others. Anything methodological in that? (maybe subtley depressing the election prompt over the tomorrow part of the question.)

    If so I’d expect to see some reversion as some people become pragmatic and the losing votes get squeezed. “Oh right you mean the real election and not that hypothetical one that didn’t have a bearing on my life”

    Lots of ifs there but it might give a narrative of the makeup of how people who reverted were made up.

    If have no idea if UKIP > Lab will be greater than UKIP > Con once they spot how far away from their beliefs UKIP are. Or is it just until now they haven’t had an option to vote anything but Labour even though they actually agree with a lot UKIP says? Will the UKIP Tories be stubborn enough to throw an election or are they just applying mid term pressure?

    I think a large part of how the election will be decided with be in how the votes that “come home” will split. Of course the red / blue conversions will still play a part despite people from both sides wondering how could any of my guys vote for THEM? In reality those people do exist and have always existed and probably matter more to the parties than their most partisan supporters.

    Overall it’s movements in polls that matter, even if there is an inherent bias, swings will be picked up (except if you only poll monthly leaving you with no idea if it was a swing or a sampling error.)

  8. Big target for Labour.

    UKIP supporters are being warned that if they indulge themselves in the polling booth, they might end up with Miliband in No10. There is an identical message to be put to those who are currently dallying with the Greens, who seem to be predominantly made up from folk who voted LD in 2010.

    I suspect these are what I call the middle-class, soft-headed, soft-leftish tendency. Certainly a good few of my friends who voted Lab in 97, LD in 2005-10 and Green recently fit that description.

    Labour is daft if it doesn’t target them very hard with a “It’s no time for indulgence. Do you want to vote with your conscience and put Cameron back into No 10? You need to decide which side you are on” type message. There is a soft 3-4% vote share to be mined there.

  9. @Alan

    If Ashcroft does big up others at the expense of the majors itmight be because it’s phone-based. Could there be such an animal as a Shy Top Three voter, who won’t admit voting for Lab, Con or LD? Bad-mouthing “Westminster” or “LibLabCon”, or Galloway’s “three cheeks” is the current fashion and some people like to sound like they’re trendy when speaking to a human, but don’t mind admitting how old-fashioned they are to a machine.

    If Others at the election it will be these Shy voters admitting they’re not as trendy as they said they were!

  10. Should have said “If Others slump at the election…”

    Bed time for me

  11. There is still certainly such a thing as a shy Tory as many still think it is none of your business how they will vote. I don’t think there is such an animal as a shy kipper and a shy Labour supporter would be an extremely rare thing. There may, however, now be quite a few shy Lib Dems – a hitherto unrecognized species.

  12. Leftylampton & Postageincluded

    Of course, it could also be that those choosing to cast a vote for a non-Establishment party are being neither “indulgent” or “trendy”.

    Suggesting to them that their actual beliefs should be thus categorised may result in a pithy epithet [1] being hurled in your direction.

    [1] A pithy epithet would be “Pith off”.

  13. MS at pb points out that the Ashcroft poll shows 19% of 2010 LDs now saying LAB with 15% saying CON.

    YouGov has 2010 LD to Con in the 20%s recently.

    Is Ed’s Crutch crumbling a little ?


    “Labour is daft if it doesn’t target them very hard with a “It’s no time for indulgence. Do you want to vote with your conscience and put Cameron back into No 10?”

    Not sure that would be a successful tactic. They’d do better to offer some policies that Green-minded people will find attractive.

  15. @COLIN

    I don’t find any claim of significant numbers of LibDems switching to the Tories plausible.

  16. It’s funny how social liberals/fiscal conservatives form a significant portion of people on here, but there is no party that officially has that position anymore.

    (I know, small sample sizes and all…)

  17. OldNat

    I think the suggestion was the reason for the discrepancy in the size of not Con/Lab/LD. Not suggesting that all who claim to support anyone else is taking the pith. Just the few who change their minds what they tell a human vs. what they tell a machine.

    Seemed a reasonable postulate, and certainly didn’t deserve to being told to pith off.

    Are there any other telephone polls that don’t show this phenomena?

    No reason to suspect those who tell both the same answer.

  18. Maybe it’s time for Labour to launch the slogan “go to bed with Bennett (or Lucas) – wake up with Cameron”?

  19. Inflammatory stuff from Cable today showing his support for mass immigration, failed intervention and the nanny state.

    He can expect a panning for it.

  20. Yes, it’s the likes of Mr Cable that keep me away from the LDs.

  21. Roger, Lefty.

    They could of course do both at once. I’m imagining a poster split in two, with some Green politicians on the left and someone subject to the Bedroom Tax/SRS on the right. Overlaid is the the line “The Greens can afford to waste time. The victims can’t. Vote Labour and scrap the bedroom tax now.”

    Repeat for NHS, environment, railways, other left wing hot topics in relevant constituencies. Might be effective to promote a policy rather than just attack the Greens.

  22. ROGERH

    I must confess it looks dramatic :-

    Last 10 YouGov Polls.

    LD 2010 to Con / LD 2010 to Lab / Lab Headline lead:-



    One to watch-but this has been absolutely crucial support for EM. If it is fading , that could be a game changer .

  23. The way to get Green voters to vote Labour is to drop austerity-lite policies, offer serious electoral reform and drop the scapegoating of benefit claiments and immigrants.

    Otherwise I refer to Oldnat’s response.

  24. Please ignore the immigrants and benefit claiments part of the above post.


  25. Lefty Lampton about some of his friends
    “I suspect these are what I call the middle-class, soft-headed, soft-leftish tendency. Certainly a good few of my friends who voted Lab in 97, LD in 2005-10 and Green recently fit that description.”

    You tell them that is your description of them? Wow, and they are still friends?

  26. Catmanjeff

    Seems like a huge gamble to take another leap to the left to gain maybe 3% of the vote.

    Think they might lose that or more to the Tories if they started aping green policy

  27. Vince Cable said a number of things with which I happen to agree in his speech. So I was interested to read the comments on it after the BBC account of it. Reading down from the most popular comment (i.e. the one with the most endorsements) to the least, the most popular are unrestrained vitriol and largely concentrate on his defense of immigration. Hardly a random sample of reactions no doubt but it clearly takes a brave politician to go saying anything of that kind.

  28. Okies…

    …peeps have been saying that the Tory tax cut proposals may have had some resonance. If so, will folk gradually find out that the tax cuts may not be all that and, if so, how long does this take?…

  29. I wonder how much said at the LD conference would have been applauded if spoken by Ed at his?

    In terms of the Con Lab LD conferences, the LD one I have found to be most positive and enlightening.

  30. Or, to use a nuclear analogy, what’s the “half-life” of the tax cut proposals in VI terms? (I knew I’d get nuclear physics into polling one day…)

  31. Miliband totally ballsed up his conference speech. he should have closed the deal with the public, but he’s ended up being the centre of a question, “is he up to it?”…labour are right to be worried.

  32. Carfrew

    Applause! :-)

  33. For sheer comedy value, just play them a clip of the recent Eddy Mair interview… the one where he asks Maria Miller about <green [email protected]

  34. @CatmanJeff

    Well the lesson for EM is to be bold. It probably doesn’t matter what he’s being bold about but he needs a vision. And this is where Balls is a millstone for EM, as he has a different political and economic philosophy which is cramping EM’s style.

  35. Howard

    We call a “spade” a “bloody shovel” in Yorkshire.


    They may well be making a principled decision. But I’m remembering the horror of some of my friends when the LDs went into coalition with Dave and George.

    I’ve mentioned before on here one example of a Russell Group Prof who, after voting Labour all his life, voted LD in 2010 to “teach Labour a lesson”. If that’s not self-indulgent wooly-headedness, I’m not sure what is. I frequently remind him that it’s the people on the business end of the Bedroom Tax who are reaping his indulgence.

    You may well be fortunate enough to know clearer-headed non-conformists.

  36. Leftylampton

    The “clearer-headed non-conformists” that I know remember when Blair turned the Labour Party into the bloody Tories!

  37. Labour won’t campaign against the Greens until everyone knows about the Greens. Campaigning against a minor party that is largely unknown is likely to be counter-productive.

  38. Is that Tony Blair, the the non-conformist radical ;-)

  39. Catmanjeff

    I didn’t know Blair was a member of the Free Kirk! :-)

  40. Lefty
    I any friend of mine called me ‘soft headed’ I think I might just try and find out if his head was soft too.

  41. Oh God,
    People are all over the place tonight and understandingly so.What was needed
    from Ed was a great big barnstormer of a speech that Cameron delivered and
    Gordon Brown can also deliver.Who cares whether there is an ounce of sense
    or truth in it.For their own prejudices the press love it.For his own reasons EM
    chose a different path,a conversation if you like with the Nation as to why they
    should vote for him and Labour.Perhaps tired from the referendum he forgot to
    mention the deficit .Well the Tories forgot to mention how will fund the eye watering cuts that will be needed to fund their tax cuts.Interestingly the Lib Dems are now raising precisely these questions.

  42. @Bill Patrick

    It sounds as if you are looking for an UK/Scottish version of the Free Democrats.

  43. @Oldnat

    What’s the SNP membership as a percentage of Scottish party total membership? Is the 75K a lot compared to Con / Lab / Lib in Scotland?


    Get yer predictions in now. Tonight’s prediction?

    Con 35, Lab 35, Lib 7, UKIP 13

  44. @Ann in Wales

    I agree that the Scotland referendum took a lot out of EM. And the Labour conference was almost immediately afterwards.

  45. RAF,

    I’d prefer to say that it would be something more like the Swedish Moderates, if only because they actually win a lot of votes!

  46. Howard
    Spoken like a true Yorkshireman

  47. @Statgeek

    Tories on 37 or 38 I suspect. Lab on 34. LD 6. UKIP

    The Tories lead won’t evaporate that quickly. We’ll probably have to wait until the end of the week and for the end of conference season before we start to see where matters lie.

  48. Statgeek

    I can’t make that calculation without all the parties stating their numbers.
    SNP have 76,688 (though an unknown number are outwith Scotland).
    SGP have 6,000+.
    SSP have c. 3000.

    The Scottish branch of Labour had 13,135 members in 2010.
    Tories in Scotland had around 11,000 members in 2012.

    As well as these, there are the really minority parties
    Lib Dems in Scotland had 2,831 members in Dec 2013, and are probably the biggest of the rag-taggle of minor parties which include various Communists, SDA, Free Scotland Party etc. – say 3,000 in all?

    So possibly around two-thirds of all party members in Scotland are in the SNP?

  49. @ Catmanjeff

    “In terms of the Con Lab LD conferences, the LD one I have found to be most positive and enlightening”

    Agreed… BUT there is a huge credibility gap now for the LD’s both in words and actions. Whatever ideas they come up with, whatever they say about the Tories it doesn’t fit with the image and deeds of the last 4 and a half years. That perception really only changes when you have new faces in place.

  50. @Raf
    Con to put on 7% in 4 days? I don’t think so :)

    Interesting stuff from Cable today until you consider the questions of a) who voted for all those cuts and b) how will he vote to repeal legislation in a Lab/Lib coalition he voted *for* only months previously.

    The parties are all scrabbling around desperately. Credibility in short order.

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