The latest YouGov/Times poll has topline figures of CON 45%(-3), LAB 29%(+4), LDEM 10%(-2), UKIP 7%(+2). Fieldwork was Tuesday to Wednesday. While sixteen points is still a very solid Conservative lead it’s down from the towering twenty-points-plus leads that most polls have shown since the election was called. As ever, it’s wrong to read too much into a single poll and this may turn out to be just random sample variation, but it may be that that the immediate boost the Conservatives got from the election announcement has started to deflate. We shall see.

While I’m here, tomorrow’s Mirror is quoting some “Labour insider” saying that Labour’s private polling is showing them at 20%. I’ve written about private polling before – people tend to get very excited about it when they shouldn’t. Just because a poll is “private” doesn’t make it any more accurate or reliable. In fact, given we can’t see it and check whether it is actually true, or something that’s got wildly exaggerated through rumour and half-truths, the information is far less reliable. My advice is always to ignore rumours of “private polls” unless the person responsible actually coughs up some tables for us to look at.

69 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 45, LAB 29, LD 10, UKIP 7”

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  1. The locals will not give an accurate guide to the GE. As AW points out, there are local issues aplenty, and also the tactical voting and message-sending will be completely different.

    What the locals will do is change the narrative, because there will be tangible indicators of where the moods are changing and voters shifting.

    Precisely because the locals will change the narrative, they will not produce the same result.

    It is a long campaign, and if TM has made a mistake, this may be it. The other is unleashing BoJo – the use of the term ‘mugwump’ is inappropriate and tasteless. A definite voter turn-off and not at all amusing. Why???

  2. I’d imagine Labour will be wanting the electorate to hear as much as possible from Boris Johnson.

    The PM’s sensible strategy of letting Labour talk as much as they like about what policies they’ve scraped together whilst the Tories talk about their strength, stability and reliability has been rather derailed by reminding people that Boris Johnson, the absolute antithesis of the image they’d like to project, is the Foreign Secretary.

  3. Good morning all from a mild grey central London.

    “If Labour finally poll at 30% I will eat Paddy Ashdown’s hat”

    Well, I hope you’re very quick because ol Paddy tends to eat his hat as soon as the exit poll appears. ;-)

  4. @COUPER2802

    I think the level of support within the PLP for Corbyn post-election will remain roughly the same as it is now – if he does lose big some of his current supporters within the PLP who are more pragmatic are likely to favour a compromise leader. The real hardliners who are prepared to turn the party just in to one of protest rather than potential government are a small minority in the PLP.

    The core factor underpinning the relative VI atm is Corbyn’s weakness in terms of views on leadership and economic competence, to such an extent that is eclipses any positives from policies such as health and education.

    As others have commented May has made so many U-turns that one could easily score points against her on trust etc – ‘how could you trust her with hard brexit if she has u-turned so much’. However, even with that the evidence is clear that May is seen be so many as the lesser of two evils. What May and her supporters in the press are being really effective at currently is turning this into positive and enthusiastic support and not just among trad Tory voters.

    Couper – I’m going to write a piece about how useful (or not) the local elections will be at telling us what is going on.
    My fear is they will be greatly misinterpreted. Obviously, they will be very useful… but not as a direct predictor of vote share, people vote differently in locals to general elections. In the examples of 1983 and 1987 when we also had locals in May and a general election in June, the projected vote shares in the May locals were very different to the vote shares in the general election a month later (the Tory lead in teh locals was much smaller than at the general election, and the Lib/SDP Alliance did better at the locals than in the general).

    Absolutely agree. Take the Lib/Dems for example.. They are racking up huge swings and percentages in local by-elections and in one poll they are polling over 20% for the locals yet national polling has them stuttering around half that.

    Local elections and GE’s are like parallel universes.

  6. Like most others I can’t see Labour improving in VI much under Corbyn, and are just as likely to decline further. There is a floor, because as far as I know there is no evidence of the inner-city BME vote turning against them. I have seen Yougov’s analysis by class, age, education and gender. I think that the effect of ethnicity on VI would be interesting, or is that the analysis that dare not speak it’s name?

    Regardless of other considerations the majority of the electorate is aware of his support for Hamas, IRA etc, (but not so far ISIS). Together with his different policy to the party over Trident most voters will decide that he is not suitable for high office, even if his views are worth hearing.

  7. It will certainly be interesting to see the results of the Local Elections. I read a very interesting piece a couple of weeks ago (in fact I think it might have been here) about local election results versus the GE a month later, where the GE was in June – 1983 and 1987. In both cases the final result swung in the government’s favour, from relatively modest leads in the locals.

    If we already see a large Tory lead in the Locals the final result could be spectacular.

  8. We had our campaign launch last night with about 100 in attendance. A few moans from the usual old curmudgeons. They are constantly in opposition, so currently are Corbynistas to show how opposed they are to the mainstream party
    The rest of the party, which comprises everybody from Blairites to Corbyn supporters, and who work happily together promoting the party and the candidate, were enthused to fight the good fight.
    Whatever your views on JC, there is no denying how often he comes up on the doorstep (Brexit is rarely mentioned) and he is seen as a negative by 9 out of 10 that mention him, whether they are deprived dwellers in the tower blocks or comfortable middle class liberals.
    Somebody mentioned the Tory election expense fiddle and the fact that Labour doesn’t even mention it. It’s an interesting contrast – I imagine if Trump was LOTLP there would be a lot of ‘they should be in jail’ (and of course this is irrespective of whether Trump should be in jail himself).
    The UK – or maybe just English – political culture is different: we have a collective fit of the vapours because our idiot Foreign Sec calls JC a mugwump. But I really don’t see why we don’t have at least on Labour spokesman taking a hammer to the Tory record and TM’s in particular because there’s certainly a case to be made that they have not achieved anything they set out to. And yes, I know the case is arguable but nobody’s even trying

  9. @ Alec

    Once she has her commanding majority, she will be well placed to get a majority in the HoC from her softer Brexit MPs, and face down the right wing.
    I suspect you are on the money. There are also persistent rumours that Mrs May will resign well before the next GE on grounds of ill health. I’ve no idea if they are based on anything real but it is easy to imagine a strategy similar to creating a ‘bad bank’ where she takes the flak, from the Tory ranks for the soft brexit fall out, and a new PM strolls unsullied into the 2022 GE.

  10. Guymonde
    “…he [Corbyn] is seen as a negative by 9 out of 10 that mention him”

    Exactly my point.

  11. @alec

    “Once she has her commanding majority, she will be well placed to get a majority in the HoC from her softer Brexit MPs, and face down the right wing.”

    Is there any reason to assume that the new intake of MPs will be more amenable to a soft Brexit?

  12. Re: Composition of PLP post GE being more pro-Corbyn because apart from Cat Smith and Clive Lewis, Corbyn supporting MPs have bigger majorities.

    Analysis by Tim Bale and co suggests that the relative sizes of the different LP factions will not be much altered either by the swing to the Conservatives or by the NEC selection of PPCs. However, it is true that Corbyn supporting MPs have larger majorities on average than the ABC MPs… make of that what you want ;)

  13. Yet another new thread folks!

  14. @ PETE B

    “…he [Corbyn] is seen as a negative by 9 out of 10 that mention him”
    However, it is not my experience. It is more that he and Brexit aren’t mentioned.

    I don’t know if it’s relevant but Guymonde is canvassing in London and London seems to vote rather differently to the much of the rest of the country i.e. Remain, Owen Smith.

    However, there may be something odd about my experience e.g. the only Brext-related story that I have personally heard is ‘I usually vote Labour but I’m going to vote Tory this time to ensure a hard brexit then I’ll go back to voting Labour’. That seems to have some resonance in Wales too.

  15. @ Alec

    Once she has her commanding majority, she will be well placed to get a majority in the HoC from her softer Brexit MPs, and face down the right wing

    That will depend on what they actually put in the Manifesto. If she commits to hard Brexit in the manifesto I cant see her making such a big U-turn – the political fallout for the Tory party would be great (assuming if by that time Labour have an electable leader). Given the current climate – and the tone from the utlra-brexit right-wing press – I would be surprised if there wasn’t a hard brexit commitment in the manifesto.

    To my mind a more plausible scenario is a sped up hard brexit, coupled to a reduction in workers rights to reduce cost to industry and make the country more competitive etc

  16. If the post 2015 election adjustments had not been made , it is likely that this Yougov poll would have shown a Tory lead of circa 12% – a big margin but not quite out of sight as it were. Some commentators have suggested that the pollsters may have overcompensated following their 2015 debacle and as a consequence are flattering the Tories a bit. Time will tell – but worth bearing in mind.

  17. @Rudyard

    It is not as bad as you think. The election was called on 18 April, which was 51 days before 8 June. That gave us 7 weeks and 2 days rather than 8 weeks notice.

    The election is now exactly 6 weeks away and we have already survived 18% of the campaign period.

  18. Redrich,
    “Your recent posts have gone a long way to convincing me that the Tory’s are going to succeed in their number one objective of destroying the Labour party.”

    Now that is quite difficult. Remember, we have FPP which is designed to keep just two parties in power as siamese twins. The conservatives do not want to destroy labour, just keep them as a quiescent number two. Corbyn is anything but quiescent.

    “Now I know you believe that a ‘purified’ Labour Party of 100-150 MP’s will have more influence than a more moderate party with 203 MP’s, I completely disagree. The best chance the left in this country has of having any influence is to be party of Labour party which is a collation of the centre left in power.”

    My reading is that Corbyn already tried cooperation, but the right decided they could not tolerate such a person as leader. I agree with you it would have been far better for both factions to have cooperated, but they will not. It could have been sold as trailblazing leader with solid sensible middle ground cabinet, best of both. But the cabinet resigned.

    “many opportunities are being missed.”

    I’m not going to comment on how well or badly labour are using their ammunition. I dont know how much they have! However, I do recall that in the 2010 election Nick Clegg nearly blew it by peaking too soon. Libs support was dropping back by election day. Perhaps this labour campaign ought to be compared more to a lib dem one, with many fewer people to get out and do things, given the division inside labour.

    Anthony Wells,
    “people vote differently in locals to general elections”

    My impression is that pure party loyalty has declined over several decades, making any party correlation between vote in one set of elections and another increasingly difficult. I have this impression party loyalty is fading, but is it me or do the stats agree?

    Andrew Myers,
    The referendum produced 52/48 for leave but the latest yougov poll apparently gave 45/43 for Remain. Leave have made much of acquiescence by Remain to the result, but this will be a new vote.

  19. Danny – “My impression is that pure party loyalty has declined over several decades, but is it me or do the stats agree?”

    On the whole, though it actually rose at the 2015 election (because of the rise of loyalty to UKIP & the SNP)

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