Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 31%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%. This follows on from a four point Conservative lead in yesterday’s YouGov poll and a one point Tory lead in their Sunday Times poll at the weekend.

Earlier on today there was also a new YouGov poll of Welsh voting intentions for ITV Wales and Cardiff University. Topline Westminster voting intentions in Wales stand at CON 25%, LAB 39%, LDEM 5%, PC 10%, UKIP 14%, GRN 6% – Roger Scully’ analysis of it is over on his Elections in Wales blog here.


524 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 33, LAB 31, LD 8, UKIP 15, GRN 6”

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  1. Hawthorn,

    “Given the experience of the Lib Dems, the SNP would be likely be badly damaged if they got into bed with Labour (or any other pro-Union party for that matter).”

    I dare say their will be some ‘purists’ amongst SNP voters who would argue against any kind of alliance with any unionist party; I have even seen a comment on another site arguing that SNP MPs should take a leaf out of Sinn Fein’s book and refuse to take their seats. However, I expect that the vast majority of SNP voters will want the SNP to make full use of whatever influence they can exert at Westminster to extract the additional powers for the the Scottish Parliament that were promised just before the referendum.

    What would be very damaging for the SNP would be to refuse a reasonable deal with Labour, especially if this allowed the Tories to stay in power.

  2. Maybe they both need to come to terms with a steady drift support below 30% come 2020. European election style results could be the future, however unlikely.

  3. Les
    their = there

    We have standards here ;)

  4. In the Welsh poll, I’m surprised PC are one of smaller parties and not in with the big boys, they seem to have a great leader. Lab at 39%, thought that was a dream at first. No just Wales.

  5. I think that both the SNP and Labour have significant bargaining power in any negotiations. Labour may have what they think is a very reasonable deal, but then what if the SNP accepts all of it except that they insist on scrapping Trident and having less spending cuts? Do Labour want to fight a second election on those issues in Scotland? On the other hand, if there was a second election and the Tories were in a position to form a government, do the SNP want to revive the “They let the Tories in!” narrative?

    Neither party is in a dominant position, I think.

  6. All this back and forth regarding a few points on the national numbers is ignoring the fact that we do not elect members based on national support but on riding support.

    As we cannot poll 650 ridings on a constant basis, we are searching for a formula to project national support onto local races. This used to be an easier process when we have 2 1/2 national parties and the smaller parties barely registered but all that has changed.

    To better determine support levels and potential seats, we need to focus more on the regions of the country than on national numbers. In each region, the relative strengths and weaknesses of each of the parties varies greatly.

    It would be very beneficial to those reading this site regularly if those who are constant posters would consider posting regional breakdowns as well as the national numbers. This may allow us to better discuss the impact of vote fluctuation rather than constantly debate the impact of a one point swing one way or the others in overall national numbers.

    Perhaps Anthony can do an analysis on the relative support of each of the relevant parties in the regions of the UK and how this may impact seat projections in those areas, and thus the overall race.

  7. Brian
    100% agree. Not sure how we account for the Lib Dems though.

  8. Looking at You Gov (2015 data), [snip – no corners here] in 2015 from the 29th Jan to the 5th March, Labour demonstrated a modest appreciation (about 0.9%). The three most recent polls have been below par, but such things can and do happen with random variation. In 2015 Labour have recorded three polls in a row below their 2015 mean on two occasions, four in a row once, five polls in a row twice and six in a row once.

    If they poll 31/32 fairly solidly for a week or two, that would be a decline, but even then not off-the-edge-of-a-cliff-stuff.

    My most sensitive graph is near to a cusp. A few more bad polls would look like a little lost ground, a few normal polls would show the last three polls to be just random blips.

  9. O.T. Please excuse my naivety but, when pollsters produce tables are all respondents asked if they are registered to vote. And if they are not and answer accordingly, does the pollster continue to ask questions of their preferences? It seems that there are approaching a million less on the electoral role than a year ago, a significant number and percentage of those asked must fall into this category..

  10. @Colin

    The key colours are clear enough for me. Not quite getting it…if the charts are smallish in your browser / monitor try CTRL and “+” to enlarge, with CTRL and “0” to reset.

  11. I find all these posts about how unacceptable it will be for Labour (or anyone else for that matter) to form a coalition with the SNP rather odd.

    If the SNP do as well in the election as polls would currently suggest then surely it would be even more unacceptable if they weren’t part of a coalition.

    In effect, a large part of the UK would then have no representation at all in the national government. That sounds like a guaranteed recipe for a totally independent Scotland in the very near future.

    So far as I can tell most UKPR posters complaining about a coalition including the SNP are actually pro unionists so wouldn’t be happy with this outcome. As is Cameron, so I’m not sure what he’s complaining about either!

  12. Brian Nicholson

    “In each region, the relative strengths and weaknesses of each of the parties varies greatly.”

    That’s true, but regional numbers don’t help very much unless there us a Unified Swing that applies within that region – and if the swing doesn’t differ from the Unified English Swing, then they would serve no useful purpose.

    Only in Scotland and, to a lesser extent Wales and London, do we get proper sub-GB polls.

    Polling in marginal constituencies is the best data we have, and I’d like to see an analysis of all the English marginals – for the unpolled constituencies, based on the most similar polled ones.

  13. Barry P asks a very good question.

    For polls undertaken by calling door to door I think the pollsters will use the electoral register.

    However, I doubt whether telepone polsters, who use random dialling (which they are alloed to do as they are not selling) ask this question, but assume that it is an error which averages out. Bur if, as you say, changes in the registration system mean that one million people have been removed from the register for one reason or another a considerable number of questions arise, such as whether they were people who should not have been on the register in the first place or whether they are people who should be included but have not been.

    There is a further issue in that people can now be included in the register until shortly before the election, I believe April 20th. Thousands of people will be changing address between now and 20th. April.

    I strongly suspect that reduction in the number of people registered will favour the Conservatives, perhaps by tens of seats.

  14. Statgeek/Colin

    I can see the chart easily on my screen but the blue representing the Uk is perhaps not the most easily distinguishable from the purple representing Midlands & Wales.

  15. Its wednesday labour will hope to do better tonight(freudian analysis).

    If the libdems poll 7 and clegg resigns/loses will the tories become the millwall of politics even if they are the largest party by a bit-camerons behaviour on the debates may have made him toxic with the other leaders.

    Anyway off to watch cheltenham ,

  16. There have been a few comments regarding the Welsh poll and the relative weakness of Plaid, I’ve actually thought for a while now that this SNP surge must be quite disheartening for Plaid. Not just because they’re jealous and wish it were them heading for 40 seats but rather it might actually put a damper on their potential progress.
    What I mean is if I were in the Welsh Labour party I’d be looking at Scotland and taking note of how to avoid a repeat in Wales at some point in the future. Labour can simply not afford to lose the Welsh heartlands in ANY election thus the aim of the Welsh Labour party will probably be “stop Plaid at any cost” for the foreseeable future.

  17. From a very recent ComRes poll:

    “…nearly two thirds of the population (63%) believe broadcasters should leave an empty spot for David Cameron if he refuses to turn up to the Leaders’ Debates – an increase of nine points since January. Seven in ten (71%) think the TV debates between the leaders should go ahead, even if the Prime Minister does not take part – an increase of seven points since January.

    David Cameron is the only party leader seen by the majority of the British public not to want the TV debates to happen, with almost two thirds (64%) choosing this option. Around two thirds of British adults agree that the Prime Minister has damaged his reputation by trying to avoid the TV debates (64%), an increase of nine percentage points since January.

    Additionally, the majority of the public agree that the Prime Minister is acting cowardly in trying to avoid TV debates with the other leaders (59%), an increase of seven percentage points since January.

    Ed Miliband (72%) and Nigel Farage (71%) are most likely to be thought to want the debates to happen and two thirds of Britons agree that Mr Miliband is right to challenge the Prime Minister to a debate “any time, any place, anywhere” (65%). The public are split over whether he looks desperate in his challenge of a debate though (41% agree and 42% disagree).

    Nigel Farage is most likely to be expected to perform the best in a TV debate (32%). Natalie Bennett is the leader expected to perform the worst (31%). The public are relatively split over the prospective performances of both David Cameron and Ed Miliband; with the Conservative leader expected to perform best by slightly more people than those who expect Ed Miliband to perform best (27% to 24%).”

  18. @ MIKE N

    Thank you for that summary. Personally, I’m very uncomfortable with the ‘Cameron is frightened’ line. For a start, it’s not true. David Cameron is not frightened. He has decided/is advised that appearing is taking an unnecessary electoral risk.

    IMO the Conservative leader’s disregard for enhancing the democratic process should instead be highlighted. Implicit in his refusal, is to put his party’s electoral advantage over increasing the electorate’s capacity to make informed choices.

    Clearly, I’m not naive enough to be surprised but I think all too often we accept the media obsession with turning politics into some sort of sporting fixture. If this coming election is really about a democratic choice, then informing the electorate as much as possible and leaving out the underhand games should be the norm.

  19. Syzygy
    “Implicit in his refusal, is to put his party’s electoral advantage over increasing the electorate’s capacity to make informed choices.”

    I agree.

    I fear for the future of democracy in the UK.

    I think EM’s promise to make the debates a statutory requirement in future GEs a very good thing.

  20. Syzygy
    oops, I meant to fess up that I didn’t write the summary but did the hard bit in copying/pasting it from the ComRes site.

  21. @ Mike N

    Copy and paste is fine by me… and I agree that it would be a very good thing for the debates decisions to be taken out of politicians’ hands.

  22. Without a sanction you cant force anyone to debate

    If we had public funding you could make it a condition of getting the money.

    I agree cameron isnt frit but that Isnt the point .

    Most voters have better things to do so you have to say the same thing over and over again to get a message across ,so this will run right thru to may 7.

    Those who conclude it hasnt had an effect are very very previous plus its the perfect answer to the attacks on Ed M.

    I am very clear about that -geddit ?

  23. I have to agree re the TV Debates,I am disappointed in Cameron,it is not as if he really has anything to fear,i don’t think 3 is necessary,but the 7 leaders and a head to head with Milliband is enough.Yes i get the “i don’t want to give ED the credibility of debating with him” line ,but democracy is important here .Personally I think Cameron will do the head to head,but get a load of caveats thrown in.

  24. @Mike N
    ‘I think EM’s promise to make the debates a statutory requirement in future GEs a very good thing’

    I disagree and see it as a rather silly idea. At the end of the day imposing such a requirement on the broadcasters would not compel a party leader to turn up if disinclined to do so.

  25. The broadcasters are being outflanked by the Telegraph and Guardian offering to host debates on Youtube. In the modern world with many more outlets, even a consortium of traditional broadcasters can’t force the politicians to do anything.

  26. Following from Brian Nicholson’s point above, I entirely agree that what is happening at a regional (and even sub-regional level) is way more important than 1% shifts in national averages. All the latter achieves is to enable the more partisan of us to wave their “Milipede is toast!” and “God save us from the SNP” and “No majority since 1992” banners. You know who you are – grow up and leave the partisan nonsense to the comments section of your newspaper of choice.

    Right, after that rant, I’ve quickly updated the LWVG Nowcast with Statgeek’s most recent MAD crossbreaks – unsurprisingly, there’s no big change overall. It’s overall slightly worse for the Conservatives, losing a couple of extra seats in the Rest of South to Labour because of a little dip in the ROS crossbreaks. The overall numbers are now:

    Con 268 (-38), Lab 300 (+42), LD 14 (-43), UKIP 2 (+2), GP 1 (N/C), SNP 43 (+37), PC 3 (N/C), NI parties 18 (N/C), Speaker 1.

    On the face of it, and after all the chat this week regarding the apparent (but statistically meaningless) “drop” in the Labour vote, this seems a bit strange. However, as has been pointed out time and time again, the Conservatives won massively in England in 2010. Then they led Labour by 10% in the Midlands, and by almost 30% in the South. However, due to the UKIP boost and some leakage from Lib Dems to Labour, the state of play as of now is that Labour lead by 3% in the Midlands (6.5% swing for those who still believe in such things….) and the margin between Con and Lab in the Rest of South is 14.5% now. This is where Labour are picking up large amounts of seats at the moment – this genuinely is the battleground.

    There was a comment (I think on the last thread), relating to my model possibly underestimating the LD seat count in comparison to the others listed above. Almost all of the difference can be put down to the behaviour of Con-LD marginals in the South-West. The winner of these seats will essentially be whoever loses the least – since I throw the SW in with the SE, I’m possibly overestimating the vote losses by the Lib Dems in what is their strongest area. At the moment, I have 11 LD losses in the SW to the Conservatives, but in reality, I would expect some of these seats to be held. Et quis novit?

  27. ComRes tables for that are here:

    http://comres.co.uk/polls/itv-news-index-tv-debates/

    with link to tables, though as ever with these ITV News polls there isn’t any voting intention asked (and presumably no political balancing).

    I think some people have been assuming that Cameron has somehow dodged the bullet on copping out of the debates and indeed the way he handled it. I’m not so sure, because the danger always wasn’t from the ‘frit’ narrative or because people felt he was letting democracy down – most voters think politicians are entirely self-interested anyway. It was that the issue would keep coming up constantly through the campaign and that the other leaders would have chance to put their cases and attack the Conservatives, while he will not be able to defend against the attacks.

    I suppose the Tory campaign team feel that the overwhelming support they have been promised by the Press will counter this, though his refusing to take part is hardly a vote of confidence in Cameron’s alleged PR skills.

  28. @DLP “In effect, a large part of the UK would then have no representation at all in the national government. That sounds like a guaranteed recipe for a totally independent Scotland in the very near future.”
    Over 60% of the UK population has no representation in the governing party which determines policy. But the ‘national government’ is subject to Parliament, and 50 seats (if SNP gets so many) would provide substantial representation and influence, if perhaps largely preventative.
    We should return to the concept of Parliament being the public’s watchdog over the Executive (and even to the old practice of MPs appointed to Ministerial office resigning their seats. “Being a constituency MP is a full-time job, and MPs should not have another” has all sorts of implications.)

    @FS “or whether they are people who should be included [on the electoral register] but have not been.”
    If they should have been included on the Electoral Register they should ensure that they are. There is yet time …20th April.
    https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

  29. If we can legislate to regulate Party Political Broadcasts and on broadcast neutrality during a campaign, then I don’t see why the debates should be any different.

    Both this time (and the last time with Brown) the criteria for them to happen or not has been the advantage or not for the government in having them happen. One of the most basic requirements of electoral democracy is that governments should not have that sort of advantage.

    Parties can choose not to have PPBs, and would be able to choose not to attend a debate. I don’t see any proposal to force parties to turn up.

    The criticism seems to be based on a delusion view of the contents of the disposal.

  30. Sorry, that should have read “proposal”! :)

  31. @ Dave
    (and even to the old practice of MPs appointed to Ministerial office resigning their seats. “Being a constituency MP is a full-time job, and MPs should not have another” has all sorts of implications.)
    Forgive my ignorance but how long ago did this used to happen?

  32. Graham
    “…imposing such a requirement on the broadcasters would not compel a party leader to turn up if disinclined to do so”

    Wouldn’t the duty be on the broadcasters to hold the debates and for the party leaders to attend them?

    What I suggest we are experiencing now is manipulation by the Cons and their supporters of the media in order to limit the scope / ability of the opposition to reach and persuade the voters of their suitability to be elected. This is an affront to democracy in the UK.

    These debates happen in other democratic countries – why not here?

  33. Damn

    Wouldn’t the duty be on the broadcasters to hold the debates and ON the party leaders to attend them?

  34. @syzygy & Mike – Graham & Pete +

    Like it or not, it is elected politicians that govern the country, not the media.
    The media may offer politicians the opportunity to make party political broadcasts, or to take part in debates, but legal sanctions to ensure that they do seem inappropriate. Why is the Monster Raving Loony Party excluded? Over the years a higher proportion of their manifesto commitments have appeared in legislation than any other party’s.
    Would you transfer refusal into the courts to obtain an injunction to appear? This programme is getting silly, and would not have got off the ground into the air without the Fixed term Parliament Act extending campaigning time to allow time for ‘debate about debates’.

  35. “…legal sanctions to ensure that they do seem inappropriate”

    The legal sanction may be a reduction in the public money parliament makes available to the political parties.

    In addition, can you seriously imagine any party leader not attending and being seen to be infringing a statutory requirement? The political fall out would be to too risky for them I suggest.

  36. I picked out selected seats in the SW, where there is likely to be a lot of churn seatwise (is that a word?). The following 17 seats are essentially marginal and thankfully the beloved Lord A has polled 13 of them. The format is Seat — 2010 winner — LWVG prediction — Ashcroft

    Bristol NW Con Lab N/A
    Bristol W LD Lab N/A
    Cheltenham LD Con LD
    Chippenham LD Con Con
    Cornwall North LD Con Con/LD
    North Devon LD Con Con
    Mid Dorset LD Con Con
    Dorset South Con Lab N/A
    Gloucester Con Lab Con
    Kingswood Con Lab Con
    St Austell LD Con Con
    St Ives LD Con Con
    Swindon North Con Lab N/A
    Taunton LD Con Con
    Thornbury LD LD LD
    Torbay LD Con LD/Con
    Wells LD Con Con

    Now, there are a couple of seats with different results. However, from the model and from Ashcroft’s polling, it’s pretty clear that the LDs will lose a good number of their seats in the South West. The seats that I have marked, which Ashcroft has not yet polled, are ones which I think particularly interesting marginal seats. Another point which I’ve made before is that in the Ashcroft marginal polls, he predicts a very high UKIP vote, even in seats where UKIP barely made an impression in 2010. The validity of the weighting scheme that Populus use will have a very large effect on the accuracy of these constituency polls.

  37. STATGEEK

    Thanks ! :-)

  38. Dave

    We have laws on this so you don’t have the situation that I once saw in Tanzania (long story) where the opposition parties had a 5 minutes each to read out an unrehearsed statement, followed by hours of coverage of a governing party rally.

  39. WB

    Forgive my ignorance but how long ago did this used to happen?

    According to Wiki

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/By-election#cite_note-1

    Re-election was required under the Succession to the Crown Act 1707. The Re-Election of Ministers Act 1919 severely restricted the necessity to seek re-election on appointment to government office. The Re-Election of Ministers Act (1919) Amendment Act 1926 ended the practice.

    There are further links from there if you want more details.

  40. @louiswalshvotesgreen

    Try the 25-poll, weighted charts – http://www.statgeek.co.uk/2014/09/here/ (set of ten, of which the data is in the first six).

    I update them from time to time. Most recent poll is 25 times more weighted than the 25th most recent etc. Then the MAD calcs are applied to the 325 data values. It favours more recent polls, than the static, 30-poll system, but not massively so if they are out-with trends.

    h ttp://www.statgeek.co.uk/2015/02/mad-mad-averaging-methodologies-compared/

  41. N.B. – The UK chart is the sum of the regional calcs, and not a result of calculating the topline data.

  42. @ Roger Mexico

    Thanks for that answer.
    It appears that the idea of separation of powers of the three arms of the state was taken seriously at one time, it is a pity that this ended. I would doubt that there are more than handful of current members of parliament would recognise the importance of that separation and the damage that has been caused by not listening to Lord Hailsham’s (Quentin Hogg) warning about the slide toward elected dictatorships.

  43. @roger mexico

    See this category

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Ministerial_by-elections_to_the_Parliament_of_the_United_Kingdom

    Seems to have happened fairly commonly between 1870 and 1926. Under same principle as the method used to resign membership nowadays, i.e. ministerial posts were considered an “office of profit”.

  44. I imagine if someone does induce the SNP into government, the explanation will be along the lines of reminding people it is still the UK Parliament, not an English one. Such ironies in facts.

  45. @Statgeek – Cheers! Just on first glance, the Conservatives have had a little boost in ROS compared to the unweighted figures (1.7%). I’ll have to see later this evening to see if that makes much difference!

  46. Not sure how accurate Scottish crossbreaks are but YouGov has Labour lower than Ashcroft and Populos in Scotland, which for me explains all of the most recent decline in Labour polling support. I think UKIP on 18% in London is a one off, but they are now consistently in the high teens, even low 20s, in RoS and Midlands.

    Labour and Conservative in todays YouGov are on 67% in London, 65% in the Midlands and Wales, 64% in RoS and 38% in Scotland, with only the North on 75%. So I think it is far too early to pop the champagne corks and celebrate the demise of either Labour or Ed Milliband. There is an old saying, “give a man enough rope and he will hang himself”.

    What the Conservatives may have succeeded in doing along with their press supporters, using the tactics they are around the SNP and Scotland, is ensure the demise of the lone LD who had a chance of keeping his seat. Even the most hardbitten Shetlander and Orkney Islander might take offense at being told they have no place in UK government.

    That said the Conservatives might do well to consider the blowback that may yet come in Wales to them and in Northern England, as it did in the Thatcher years, because this time the Conservatives have UKIP to contend with on their right in the Midlands and Southern England.

    Fighting a two front war, as Napoleon, the Kaiser and Hitler found out, was not in the long term a winnable proposition. After what has happened to the LDs I cannot imagine why a Labour party leadership would agree to a grand coalition with the Conservatives, but I can imagine a Labour party leaving a weakened Cameron Conservative government to limp along without a majority on C & S from who UKIP and DUP?

    The LDs, those that are left at that point, could also offer C & S but then will almost certainly face total oblivion at the next general election. Look at the state of Pasok, in Greece, as just one recent example of what is currently happening to parties that make unpopular decisions.

    It took the Conservatives four elections in Canada 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011 to move the country from a majority Liberal government to a majority Conservative. Any situation after May 8th that leaves the Conservatives and their LD allies with fewer seats than 2010, is a step backwards to the Conservatives achieving a majority and the more parties they have to rely on to achieve majority support in HoC the more it will look like they cannot get there.

    As a political scientist I love watching interesting elections, as when the electorate are uncertain the politicians start acting like “cats on a hot tin roof”, and that is when the strategic and tactical mistakes get made. The Conservatives have played their “Scotland” card and made some Scots madder than a hornet, but the other shoe UKIP voters moving back to Conservative, so far has not happened. So what is next in the playbook?

    @LouisWalshVotesGreen

    I think you are underestimating the ability of UKIP to take some of those seats from LD in the Southwest and that there might be some rural/urban differences that favour Labour

    I expect to see gains for Labour in Bristol, Plymouth and possibly Exeter given the split between Comservative and UKIP.

  47. Exeter is already labour!

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