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. @unicorn

    I agree they should have learnt some important lessons during the last 5 years, but the referendum isn’t tuition fees. They haven’t made a massive song and dance about promising to block an EU referendum. They are very pro-EU, of course, but they could spin that into a reason to have a referendum. “economy is better now, we can deal with the uncertainty, let’s take this opportunity to silence the eurosceptics and assure our place in the EU”

    Why would they “give in”? They could extract some nice goodies out of the Tories in exchange for the referendum pledge, because the Tories really want it. The EU referendum is tuition fees for Tories, so to speak.

    And finally: power.

  2. We’ve gone all Boethian tonight.

    Hope we don’t share his fate, executed by a jealous ruler who suspects us of plotting against him.

  3. @Spearmint @ BristolianHoward

    Want a clear view through the fog?

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzTTW1ecy-NDeVZFdlRYX1BNRTg/view?usp=sharing

  4. Northumbrianscot

    Boethian – Wasn’t he an English cricketer or something?

  5. @Catman

    I just hit an iceberg.

  6. @ LouisWalshVotesGreen & Unicorn

    I think there is a constant underestimation of the potential of UKIP to take seats. I keyed in certain numbers at one of the election forecast sites, sorry cannot remember which one, and out popped the following seats as being won by “Other” and I do not think they meant the Green Party:

    Bath
    Cambourne and Redruth
    Devon North
    Thornbury and Yate
    Yeovil

    Prior to the 2014 European election I tracked the crosstabs very carefully and was convinced the Green Party was going to lose it’s London seat. They won it by 5,000 votes.

    In the Southwest some crossbreaks showed the Green’s doing very well and then they faded, but days before the vote the Greens were convinced they were going to win a seat in the Southwest and they were right.

    In the Southwest the Party has doubled it’s membership since December and again crossbreaks have shown them at times ahead of LD and even with UKIP.

    The only way I know to correlate these polling numbers with anything statistically significant is to look at both the 2014 EU results by local government area and actual local government election results.

    This at least gives me current voter trend data and interestingly the Ashcroft constituency polls and 2014 fall by-elections seemed to verify the trends I was picking up.

    I could post the urls for the sites I use to find these results if that would be useful to you both. Based on fifty years of observation and participation I am highly sceptical of pollsters using 2010 weighting and think it could skew the results they are publishing.

    In many areas of the UK since 2010 the LDs at a local level have completely collapsed and they have lost at least 40% of their council seats. This formed the backbone of their presence and lead to them taking certain seats in the UK parliament.

  7. I suspect the preferred Lib Dem price for coalition with either Lab or Con would be STV for English local government elections.

    This would introduce the English electorate to PR voting and would not require a referendum.

    Frankly it’s what they should have asked for last time instead of AV for Westminster.

    Not sure either party can deliver it though. SNP would presumably not vote on it as a purely English matter and there is bound to be some backbench rebellion on either side from more traditionalist types.

    In 2010 they could probably have demanded it. Now I’m not so sure the numbers are there to deliver it whoever they ask.

  8. @ David in Oxford,

    How is it a constitutional crisis? The unwritten constitution is pretty clear: whoever can command the confidence of a majority of the House of Commons and get a budget passed has the right to form the Government. Everyone else gets to sulk on the opposition benches. What party MPs happen to be in or what nation they happen to be from is immaterial.

    Could the SNP refuse to support anyone and thereby create a big mess and/or a second election? Sure. Their bloc partners would be deeply unhappy and it’s a major political risk for them in Scotland, but they have a lot of political capital to spend and a Tory landslide is the best possible outcome for their long-term plans.

    On the other hand Scotland isn’t going to be independent for at least five years, and in the meantime they have constituents whom they presumably care about, and who would benefit from a stable progressive government in Westminster. I’ve seen their MPs troll like fiends, and I’ve also seen Angus MacNeil do fantastic legislative scrutiny. I can’t predict what they’ll do, but I don’t think we should assume bad faith.

  9. @Postage Included

    There has been a clear bleeding of support back to the main parties from the Greens and UKIP.

    Quite frankly the smaller parties don’t have the staying power, media coverage or wonga to campaign hard right up to and through the election.

  10. @ David in Oxford

    Not a majority then if we’re talking 295 seats.

    So your question is “does the largest party in the House of Commons form a government even if other parties oppose them?”

    The answer is No.

    The maths will depend on how parties decide which block to support and how many MPs they have.

    If Con are on 295 then there may well be enough DUP/UKIP/Lib Dem votes for them to form a government but the SNP have stated they won’t vote in a Conservative PM so Cons will need at the very least to beat Lab + SNP.

    That’s how our Government works. It’s an aggregation of individual MP’s views not a counting of how many votes a party received.

  11. @ANDY SHADRACK

    Don’t know about the others but there is absolutely no chance of UKIP winning Bath. It’s one of the safest LibDem seats with the Tories a distant second. UKIP will do well to save their deposit.

  12. @ Catmanjeff,

    So if I’m reading it right that’s Tories up, Greens and Ukip down, Lab and Lib we’re not sure?

    @ Northumbrianscot,

    I suspect the preferred Lib Dem price for coalition with either Lab or Con would be STV for English local government elections.

    You may well be right, but your theory seems to based on the premise that the Lib Dems have common sense.

    Although the SNP seem to be post-SV4SL, so that aspect of it wouldn’t necessarily be a problem.

  13. @Spearmint

    I believe the SNP position is still that EVEL applies to non financial matters.

    So they would vote on the English local government financial settlement for example but not the electoral system.

    I guess Lib Dems could demand a linked bill to force SNP to vote on it but given they nominally support EVEL too that would be fairly cynical.

  14. @Spearmint

    If you’re still around, thanks for the graphs and stuff ( stuff being your other posts – on fire tonight)

    The Lib to Con movement is interesting. Why now? They’ve weathered 4+ years as LDs, what’s happened to finally make them go? And where are they? I mean, are they spread across the country or are they in LibDem marginals where their defection could be catasstrophic? Could they be Tactcal Con2LD switchers who are afraid of LibLabbery? If they’re the latter the movement coulg help Labour!

  15. Northumbrianscot -if the snp are part of the C&S with Labour they would have to vote for PR in local government but you are right there would be a revolt from labour backbenchers .

  16. @ David in Oxford,

    Er… the overall budget is not a devolved matter?

    Holyrood only votes on devolved matters?

    There was an independence referendum last September which the SNP lost, and therefore Scotland remains part of the UK and continues to send representatives to the Westminster parliament?

    I’m not sure what’s confusing you here, but you seem to be confused about something.

  17. @David in Oxford

    No need to get angry. People were just confused as you kept saying Majority when you meant Plurality.

    As a rule demanding people “answer for their party’s policy” is generally a violation of the comments policy as we all try and leave our party affiliations at the door.

  18. @ Spearmint

    ‘“Lost the confidence of the House of Commons” as the last item on Cameron’s political CV.’

    I rather understood that being ennobled was being mooted as far back as 2011. IIRC Cameron said that he wanted to return to the days when ex-PMs were automatically given an Earldom.

  19. These erratic polls are reflective of a general mood in the country where there is little enthusiasm for the Coalition, but not much either for the Opposition. Put more prosaically, the electorate would quite like to get shot of the current Government but can’t really see an alternative that appeals. The result? Much tomfoolery and indulgence on the fringes with smaller parties who have no hope of forming a government but who all, in their different ways, provide novel conduits for expressing disillusionment with the mainstream. So many parties that cock-a-snoop, it’s difficult to know which one to choose. Spoilt for choice, although deffing the circus out in May will still appeal to about 35% of the electorate, I suspect.

    I’ve never been a subscriber to the collective wisdom and settled will of an electorate, but these polls suggest that we’d quite like nobody to hold sway in Westminster after May. Don’t want to re-elect what we’ve got and don’t fancy putting the other lot in either, just about sums it up.

    With that baleful background, I really do wonder who is advising the likes of Cameron and Miliband when I hear their empty soundbites and playground name-calling. Can anybody seize the day, I wonder and start singing the songs that the audience crave to hear rather than the tired old hits from yesteryear? Ironically, I think their is a real hunger for change in the country and a genuine appetite for politics.

    Sadly, it’s an appetite for a type of politics that few of our politicians offer and a desire for change that our sclerotic political system and poisoned discourse is incapable of providing. Never has there been such a chasm between the electors and the elected.

  20. @07052015

    No. SNP would only have to agree not to bring down a government in a No Confidence vote.

    A C&S arrangement does not necessarily guarentee votes on any policy except any agreed in advance.

    For pure English non financial policies the SNP is only likely to agree to abstain.

    One way to get STV through might be via a Constitutional Convention with an omnibus package of Lords Reform, Devolution, STV etc which the SNP could then feel happy to support as part of a wider package of Constitutional Change.

  21. Who are the “everybody” who expects the Conservatives to get 295? They could do, but not the way things are going right now.

  22. @ Postageincluded,

    The Lib to Con movement is interesting. Why now? They’ve weathered 4+ years as LDs, what’s happened to finally make them go?

    If you look at the Lib Dem chart, you can see this level of LD -> Tory switching is not unprecedented- there was a spike of it in July (???) and another during conference season. So we’ll have to see if it persists. Maybe we’ve just had a run of weird polls.

    If it is a solid movement and not a blip, it could be either the “long-term economic plan” starting to kick in or a sign that the Labour/SNP coalition scaremongering is working. I don’t know about the rest of their party, but Tim Farron and Paddy Ashdown really, really hate the SNP. If that’s a common sentiment among the Lib Dem rump they might be willing to vote Tory to keep them out (especially since increasing the Tory vote share is the best chance of keeping their own party in power).

  23. @Spearmint

    I would agree Tories up, but also Labour and Lib Dem less sharply.

    Labour headed south up to 28th Jan. Mean = 32.7

    They then improved up to the 5th March. Mean = 33.7

    The last four points, a new period, mean = 32.5. However, this is a very small sample so am wary to call this yet.

    The Conseravtives declined up to the 23rd Jan – mean = 32.0

    Wobbly bit then until the 19th Feb – mean = 32.7

    A rise followed up to now – mean = 33.8

    The Lib Dems were weaker to the 17th Feb – mean = 6.8.

    A ride then followed to roughly now – mean = 7.5

    Ukip roughly rose up the 2nd Feb – mean = 15.2

    A general decline followed up to now – mean = 14.4

    Greens improved up to the 4th Feb – mean = 7.2.

    The decline until now – mean = 6.5

    So there small changes there, but most instruments are not sensitive enough to detect them. The changes are real, but small.

  24. @ spearmint
    I should have gone to bed…. But I am not confused! I cannot understand how the Labour party will be able to get any bill through the House of Commons on Education, Helath, Police etc. all matters which are devolved to Holyrood, because if the SNP interfere to ensure they get through, on some grander scale budget, all hell will break loose down here. I can see that it might actualy lead to an independent Scotland, is that really what everybody wants? Have Devo Max, but there has to be some quid pro quo, whereby the English Education system is surely down to the people of England to finance and decide what they want.

  25. @Catman

    Thank you for that explanation. We’ll still be manning the pumps for a while, but I’ve told the band to lay off “Abide with Me”.

    I suppose that your observation isn’t unexpected, and I’m sure that “dinari” ( that’s your actual Polari for “wonga”) is part of the explanation. My feeling is that it’s not all that’s going on – I think that a lot of poll respondents answer polls out from an election with “in an ideal world” appended to the VI question. They also use their opportunity to send a message – “Too much immigration!” Or “Not Left wing enough” beibg the messages sent by UKIP and Green respondents.

    As the election approaches they start to think of it more as an actual conflict in the real world.

  26. One way to get STV through might be via a Constitutional Convention with an omnibus package of Lords Reform, Devolution, STV etc which the SNP could then feel happy to support as part of a wider package of Constitutional Change.

    Or George Osborne could just do a budget which devolves all the spending power to local parliaments & councils and which drops the entire austerity thing, allowing the aforementioned local parliaments & councils to spend lots of money on the NHS, repeal the bedroom tax, unfreeze public sector pay etc. It would probably pass & David Cameron would thereby be allowed to keep wearing the hat of ‘authority’.

  27. Ok Northumbrian I bow to your greater knowledge tho I suspect snp policy on general principles will be under constant review .

  28. @Spearmint

    Tsk! How can I have forgotten the SNP factor. And here of all places! Ironic if that is the case; live by tactical voting, die by tactical voting!

    Thanks again.

  29. @David in Oxford

    In a hypothetical world where Con have 295, Lab 260 and SNP 45 it would indeed be very difficult for Lab to pass bills on non financial devolved matters without some Con support as SNP would likely abstain.

    But governing and legislating are two different things.

    Ironically look at Holyrood 2007 – 2011 for how this works. The SNP were in government but could only pass legislation with support from one or more opposition parties.

    That’s how minority government works.

  30. @ David in Oxford,

    Everyone hates the Health and Social Care Act (including the Conservatives who are now worried it’s going to cost them the election). If Labour repeal it with SNP votes, who is really going to mind?

    Everyone on the left and many people on the right (David Davis) hates Labour’s Home Office policies, so while the SNP will probably block them I imagine most Labour voters will be pleased. It really would not be the end of the world if this sort of legislation had to proceed on a cross-party basis.

    The Lib Dems will probably vote with Labour on most education policy, and stuff like free school funding is easily folded into the overall budget which the SNP will vote on. So the worst case scenario is stasis (which would probably come as a huge relief to teachers) and the best case scenario is that they get most of their agenda through with cross-party support.

    People only care about process when they don’t like an outcome. The Conservatives want EV4EL because Labour government is an outcome they don’t like. Labour voters won’t care. As long as the policies which get passed are popular, most English voters won’t care either.

  31. As for the bookies never being wrong , were they right in 1992 or February 1974 or 1970 or 1945?

  32. @Amber

    Devolving spending power isn’t quite the same thing as giving them the money to do all the stuff on your wishlist!

    Unless you think the tax-raising powers would be devolved too? Interesting to see how Rhondda Cynon Taf gets on with raising the income to pay all its benefits and public sector wages….

  33. I don’t think a Labour government with SNP support is a constitutional issue. But the arithmetic involved makes it fairly possible that such a combo could rule the UK with an even lower combined vote share than Labour enjoyed in 2005. That would take the credibility of our FPTP system to even greater lows. But unless the Tories embrace electoral reform its hard to see how much hay then can make out of it.

    I do think it would do some harm to Labour in parts of England, however.

  34. @07052015

    Principles can always be thrown under a bus but in general I’d expect the SNP to abstain on entirely non Scottish matters.

    Money of course is virtually always a Scottish matter because of the way Barnett works.

    In my professional life I have had some involvement in negotiating contractual terms between different levels of government where the Barnett Consequentials were quite dramatic and required detailed agreement to ensure an optimum outcome for all sides.

    The way the constituion is currently settled money is intertwined in the decisions at all levels. John Swinney has been particularly effective in this regard at maximising Scotland’s entitlement, whatever your view of his politics.

  35. @CatmanJeff

    Thanks for your multi-party CUSUM charts.

    Lets start with the Greens. Who says you can’t match political news to polls?

    Climbing nicely until the end of January. What happened on the 25th Jan. Yes, that Andrew Neil interview. Trajectory changed to downwards until around 6 Feb, then started to climb again until that LBC interview on 24 Feb.

    Next UKIP
    Looks like the channel 4 documentary on 16 Feb marks the start of their downturn.

    Now if you look at the Conservative chart, their present upturn corresponds with the downturns of UKIP and the Greens. Likewise Lib Dems.

    Conclusion – as Crossbat says above, the public don’t like any of the main parties. So they flirt with some of the new arrivals – Greens, UKIP. But then the NB interviews and Channel 4 documentary got them to look in a bit more detail, and they decided, no, those parties are not the answer.

    The Greens are going back to the Lib Dems, the UKIP’pers to Conservative.

    All makes sense now…

  36. R&D good to see you back contributing. Things are getting a bit serious on here at the moment so some of your humour would be welcome.

  37. @Andy S

    Your final comments introduce further reasons for questioning whether the LidDem showing will match up to projections.

    Before that you raise the possibility of Ukip outperforming projections and you list a number of seats in which they may be competitive.

    My last detailed analysis of Ukip changes on UKPR (posted at 11.07) didn’t come up with any of those seats as possible Ukip targets. I listed about ten seats that might be in contention if Ukip kept to their 2014 rising trend.

    However, since then my weekly trend checks have fallen well below those trend figures. A while ago @AW suggested their VI had actually dropped sincd Jan 1 and there has been some debate about whether this dip is reliable or not. But the rise was certainly checked some weeks ago.

    Given this, I deduce that the list of possible Ukip gains must be getting shorter, and like most of the models I can’ t see them having more than 3-4 MPs After May 7. More critical, in my view, is the effect their VI drop has on the balance of support in a whole clutch of Tory/Labour battleground seats.

    The starting-point for my calculations was the Electionforecast ‘Nowcast’ list (since renamed). You might object that all their VIs are built on polling numbers that are themselves distorted by implausible corrections for D/K responses. On this assumption the entire database might have a built-in bias against Ukip. But even at several points higher than their current figures, Ukip don’t start threatening all that many seats.

    So, unless there is a big turnaround in any debates that might take place, I no longer expect to see Ukip winning beyond Clacton, South Thanet, and perhaps Thurrock and Boston and Skegness.

  38. @NeilA

    ” . That would take the credibility of our FPTP system to even greater lows…..”

    Well it would for those people who care about the voting system. But that’s a minority interest. And though the Tories may bluster about EVEL, they’ve no intention of extending that to a complaint about FPTP, which they believe favours their cause.

    Do you remember the ridiculous ads for No during the AV referendum. “If you win the race then you’ve won” etc. Stupid, misleading, but deadly effective because it chimed in with the way most people perceive elections. In a tournament if you win more games than any other team, then you’ve won, it doesn’t really matter that another team scored more points. Until the electorate stops seeing elections in this way they’re not going to notice the votes/seats disparity, and if they do notice, they won’t care.

  39. @ Neil A

    Keep in mind, we are talking about a minority Tory government trying to hold on to power. To do that, they must pass a budget. Therefore they need left-leaning Parties to support their budget. There already exists the mechanisms needed to devolve much of the spending power, at least temporarily.

    I think Labour & SNP voters would expect their Parties to pass a budget like the one which I suggested. The majority of their voters would not much care who had the power to raise the taxes, provided the money was raised & spent on the things which left-leaning voters care about.

    And do not forget, George Osborne & David Cameron were saying, in the run-up to the 2010 election, that their government would match the Blair/Brown public spending levels. So why make complicated constitutional changes? Why not keep it simple & have a public-sector spending budget, if that’s all it takes to keep the keys to Downing Street?

  40. @Richard

    You have to be careful about interpreting CUSUM plots. @CMJ will no doubt explain it more fully himself, but measure requires that each party must start and finish at zero. This means that what appears from the graph to be a fall may not be a real fall. If the VI were to drop steadily for the first half of the time period and then stay fixed at that level for the second half, then this would show as initial rise (as the early scores would be above the overall mean). This rise would then be followed by a fall to get the CUSUM score back to zero. So, they are a bit tricky to interpret.

    Or, “Icebergs” as an earlier comment put it..

  41. It is an odd argument that the SNP should not be allowed into a govt coalition..why not..?…This is a westminster election…why shouldn’t the millions who vote for the SNP be represented?

  42. So my question tonight is to Unicorn, LouisWalshVotesGreen and all the other statisticians on this list.

    RoS in 2010 produced the following results:

    Conservative 111 seats/47.1%

    LD 19 seats/29.5%

    Labour 8 seats/15.9%

    UKIP 3.6%

    Green 1 seat/1.3%

    Other 2.6%

    YouGov between March 8th – 10th has produced the following average results in RoS:

    Conservative 43.5%

    Labour 21%

    UKIP 16.5%

    LD 12%

    Green 6.5%

    Now please tell me and others why, when UKIP is now polling at or above third placed Labour in the 2010 election would they not win 8 seats in this region of England in the 2015 election?

    Why would Green who took one targeted seat in 2010 at 1.3%, not take a second targeted seat in 2015?

    Why would LD not lose at least 13 of 19 seats when they have moved from second place to fourth, according the pollsters (I think they are in fifth, based on 2014 EU and local government election results)?

    Why when the lead of Conservative over Labour has narrowed from 31.5% to 22% would so many people still be insisting, on this list, that DC will remain in Number 10 after May 8th?

    How many of the 8 seats Labour currently hold in RoS are vulnerable to a UKIP takeover, versus Conservative defeats?

    I think and I feel are simply not good enough for me, give me some facts I can sink my teeth into, other than “it won’t happen” or “because”.

    The swing from Conservative to Labour in RoS since 2010, even in the current terrible polling results, is 9.5%, so how many seats when you plug your models in do Conservatives lose to Labour?

  43. @ Tom Chadwick

    …why shouldn’t the millions who vote for the SNP be represented?

    Steady on; the SNP are not going to get millions of votes; they’ll be doing extremely well if they get over one million.

  44. Tom Chadwick

    There’s a lot of hot air around – it’s an election campaign!

    Whipping up fear of the “enemy within” is hardly a new political tactic, and certain politicians have seldom been overly concerned about the longer term effects of their rhetoric, if it increases the chances of clinging onto power for a few years.

  45. Could it be PMQ, that is causing the shift in the polls on a Wednesday?

  46. @ CATMANJEFF

    I agree with your 11.45 PM post in terms of statistical trends from the pollsters, I get the same numbers, but also remember that pollsters were wrong for the 2014 EU elections.

    They overestimated UKIP, Labour and LD and underestimated Conservative and Green.

  47. @ Andy Shadrack

    I think and I feel are simply not good enough for me, give me some facts I can sink my teeth into, other than “it won’t happen” or “because”.

    There aren’t any ‘facts’ when making political forecasts. Folks can do arithmetic seat calculations based on assumptions – but the assumptions will be made on the basis of: “I think…” and “I feel…”. Facts are what you get after the election. ;-)

  48. Andy Shadrack

    Your list of ‘possible’ UKIP(?) gains:

    Bath
    Cambourne and Redruth
    Devon North
    Thornbury and Yate
    Yeovil

    looks to me like it was mainly thrown up by one of those programming bugs that tends to allocate ‘safe’ Lib Dem seats away from them to make the numbers balance. That said Camborne and Redruth is a possible UKIP gain (they’ve been ahead in one poll) and North Devon is also an outside chance for them

    People tend to assume that UKIP seats will be those that look ‘UKIP-y’ – with a lot of the sort of voters who support the Party. Somewhere like Boston or Clacton. But actually most of their possible gains will be in marginals where they can gain the seat with maybe 30% of the vote or even less. These seats will also have the characteristics and local circumstances that will provide UKIP with lots of votes, but the main thing will be that their maximum vote will be enough to get them elected.

    So Con-Lab marginals such as Thurrock are targets, but Con-LD-Lab seats such as C&R are also possible.

    The South-West has always been one of the Greens stronger regions – along with Eastern (these two are also usually among UKIP’s strongest, maybe for similar reasons), Bristol West is a distinct possibility (maybe South too) though three of their other long-term bets, Totnes, St Ives and Stroud have popular MPs and an ex-MP standing that would make things difficult currently

  49. @Andy

    No statistician, but I will try and answer your question

    I think it comes down to tactical voting.

    If you are in a seat that looks like this:

    Con – first
    LD – second
    Lab – 3rd

    In many cases those Labour voters hate the Cons so much, they are prepared to switch their votes to the LD. That pushes LD into first place, so they actually win.

    Same in this case:
    Lab – first
    LD – second
    Con – 3rd

    But in that position, the Cons voters will switch to LD.

    BUT
    If the position looks like this:
    Con – first
    UKIP – second
    Lab – 3rd

    Then, UKIP is a problem because it not a centre party like the Lib Dems, it is on the extreme right. So Lab voters are less likely to lend their vote to UKIP to keep Tories out.

    How do we know this? Well we can look at Ashcroft’s latest poll where he considers coalitions.

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2015/03/ashcroft-national-poll-con-34-lab-30-lib-dem-5-ukip-15-green-8/

    Some people think that after the general election neither Labour nor the Conservatives will have enough MPs to form a government on their own, and the party with the most seats may need to form a coalition with one or more of the smaller parties. Would you be happy or unhappy to see each of the following parties becoming part of a coalition government after the next election

    Lib Dems
    Only 44% of Cons voters would be unhappy
    Only 51% of Lab voters would be unhappy

    So highly likely to vote tactically in a Lib Dem marginal.

    But for UKIP
    Cons – 63% unhappy
    Lab – 77% unhappy

    So far less likely to vote tactically in a UKIP marginal. In fact they may dislike UKIP more than Lab or Cons, so may vote tactically to keep UKIP out. Women in particular dislike UKIP.

    These small parties in most cases don’t have enough support to get to first past the post by themselves. They need to borrow votes from other parties.

  50. @ Roger Mexico and Richard

    Thanks for your responses, much appreciated. Between 1988 and 1993 the Reform (UKIP) Party in Canada grew from 2.1% support to 18.7%:

    http://esm.ubc.ca/CA93/results.html

    I have again reviewed those results tonight at the above url. Of 52 seats won by Reform in that election four were won by less than 33% of the vote:

    Yorkton-Melville 32.7%
    Kootenay West-Revelstoke 32.5%
    Moose Jaw-Lake Centre 30.3%
    New West-Burnaby 29.3%

    A further 8 by under 40% and an additional 3 were lost by Reform by .4% or less and under 40%.

    All I am saying is that when the vote starts splitting between four or five parties under FPTP candidates start getting elected on some pretty low percentages.

    You might also like to look at the emergence of the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec in that same election and the demise of the Progressive Conservatives from 169 seats to 2.

    All the stats are there for everyone to review for themseves.

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