Saturday, May 20, 2017

Finally the election explodes into life as YouGov poll moves the race closer to hung parliament territory

Whenever you see a Britain-wide poll showing a huge Tory lead (which has basically been every single poll in this campaign so far), it's worth bearing in mind that Jeremy Corbyn's theoretical objective is not to overturn that lead, but simply to bring it down to a level that might conceivably translate into a hung parliament rather than an overall Tory majority.  That's still a mind-bogglingly tough hurdle for him, but it does put a slightly different perspective on things, because depending on the distribution of votes even a 6 or 7 point Tory lead might not be quite enough for a majority.
Earlier today there were two polls which showed modest declines in the Tory lead, but which still left Theresa May with a very comfortable 12 or 13 point cushion.  However, both of those polls were largely conducted before people became acquainted with the controversial Tory manifesto, and the million dollar question was what impact that would have.  Expectations genuinely differed - some commentators thought working-class voters would be taken in by the faux 'redistributive' aspects of the manifesto, while others thought the Tories were taking a big risk with their core vote.  Judging by the newly-released post-manifesto poll from YouGov, the latter analysis may have been closer to the mark.

GB-wide voting intentions (YouGov) :

Conservatives 44% (-1)
Labour 35% (+3)
Liberal Democrats 9% (+1)
SNP / Plaid Cymru 5% (n/c)
UKIP 3% (-3)

For the first time in the campaign, then, we have a poll that makes it look just about plausible that we could end up with a hung parliament - the Tory lead would only have to slip two or three points more.  I still think that's highly unlikely - if anything, it's more probable that this is just a blip and the gap will widen again as polling day approaches.  But it's certainly electric shock treatment for a campaign that until now has been the dullest since at least 2001.

For reasons only they can explain, YouGov never reveal the SNP's vote share until the following morning, but judging from the percentage changes of the other parties there's no obvious reason to suppose the SNP have slipped back.  [Update : The SNP and Plaid are unchanged on 5%, and the SNP lead the Tories in the Scottish subsample by 44% to 28%.]

UPDATE : Hot on the heels of YouGov comes a post-manifesto Survation poll which goes some way towards confirming that there has been a telling swing from Tory to Labour, but which still leaves Corbyn with a bigger deficit than he has in the YouGov poll.

GB-wide voting intentions (Survation) :

Conservatives 46%
Labour 34%
Liberal Democrats 8%
SNP 4%
UKIP 3%

A more realistic hope than a hung parliament is that the Tory surge we saw at the start of the campaign may have now gone into reverse, and that we'll see the effects of that in Scotland as well as south of the border.  If so, the SNP lead over the Tories might just start to inch up, and some of the Tories' longer-shot constituency targets might begin to look out of reach.

UPDATE II : I've removed the percentage changes from the Survation numbers above, because they were comparing apples with oranges - this is an online poll, and Survation's other recent polls (for Good Morning Britain) have been conducted by telephone.

36 comments:

  1. We obviously have now passed Peak Tory, UK wide.

    This may well have ramifications for Scottish Tories and their vote.

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  2. I really hope so, peaked and then start to decline

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  3. The Tory manifesto was just a little bit scary. Perhaps a reality check has suddenly bitten in There would be certain irony in it all if May were to be returned with a reduced majority.

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  4. The Survation poll (not sure if that was one of the earlier polls you referred to) isn't nearly as encouraging. I do think there is a good chance that the manifesto will bring home the risks of a Tory vote to Scottish voters. One can certainly hope.

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    1. The Survation poll isn't all that dissimilar - it's a 12-point lead instead of 9, with Labour on an unusually high vote.

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    2. Not hugely different but also not in single digits. :)

      Either is certainly an improvement over the start of the campaign though.

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  5. I fear it might be Scottish seats which gives them their majority

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    1. The vast majority of Scottish seats will be non-Tory, so without Scotland they'd be further ahead.

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    2. I think they are in with a shout of around 10 Scottish seats, at most probably 12. Some of the SNP's rural seats are a concern, as are some they are trying to win in the Highlands and the Borders. In the urban areas, some are vulnerable, Edinburgh West, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, while others were they are challenging, Edinburgh South, are doable but difficult. I reckon the SNP will probably get around 40 plus seats, hopefully higher, but you cannot take the electorate for granted. NS has to perform well in the debates, and we have to highlight the Tories attack on the elderly from now till polling day.

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  6. 44 / 35 is definitely NOT hung parliament. More like 40-50 Tory majority

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    1. Thank you for agreeing with the blogpost, even if you didn't read it!

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    2. To be fair James doesn't say 44/35 is hung parliament territory. He says "a poll that makes it look just about plausible that we could end up with a hung parliament - the Tory lead would only have to slip two or three points more."

      42/37 would be close to hung parliament territory.

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    3. For what it's worth though I still think we'll be waking up on 9th June to a Tory majority in the ballpark of 100.

      Hope I'm wrong

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    4. I agree. Shy Tories will give them an increased majority which their record, campaign and manifesto certainly do not warrant.

      It's all irrelevant to us. We can take our independence if we really want to. No other country got independence by asking for it.

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    5. I have been saying this for a long time. As tom petty says: everybody has to fight to be free. Also, why do We still keep up the " shy tory crap? If someone lies to you for 35 years. They are a lying coward.

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    6. Are the tables out yet? I'm interested in the "yoof", since more than 1 million have registered in recent days, I believe. Of course, most of them won't be on the panels anyway, so there may well be a large hidden pool of anti-Tory voters not shown in these figures.

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    7. How does a party as big as the snp NOT get their voters out?

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  7. By focussing on IndyRef2 and arrogantly expecting that voters are interested in nothing else the Tories have created an own goal against themselves and handed the opposition parties a gift of silver haired votes to win over by way of their far right manifesto plans for funding of elderly care costs, abandonment of the triple lock on pensions, and introduction of means testing for winter payments.

    The SNP vote is steady and the one section of the vote the Tories cannot afford to lose is the elderly so these Tory manifesto plans is where the SNP should be focussing their attacks at every opportunity from now until the election.

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    1. There has been a consistent background noise from England's right wing press and the political right that the elderly in the UK are benefitting at the expense of "hard working" younger people.
      All that has happened until now is that England's Thatcherite governments haven't attacked that section of voters because they tend to be supportive of their views.
      Their crass mismanagement of the UK economy now means that everyone is going to have to pay for their mistakes,the biggest of which is going to be Brexit.
      Younger,hard working people should be taking a close interest in their circumstances to see what awaits them further down the road.
      The Tory story is that as soon as you cease to be "hard working",you are toast.

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    2. Elderly voters voted for brexit more than any other demographic. They have benefited much much from life than the youngsters ever will.

      I have no sympathy for the elderly. They continually vote Tory.

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    3. @Irvine

      By focussing on IndyRef2 and arrogantly expecting that voters are interested in nothing else the Tories have created an own goal against themselves and handed the opposition parties a gift of silver haired votes to win over by way of their far right manifesto plans for funding of elderly care costs, abandonment of the triple lock on pensions, and introduction of means testing for winter payments.

      Exactly. The Tories unspeakable arrogance, hubris, cruelty, and ignorance will hopefully be their undoing. Sadly I think they and May probably will win, but they have surely done damage with their vitally important constituency, namely the elderly. Nothing would be more funny than watching this atrocious and despicable lot getting beaten.

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    4. Yup. I agree wholeheartedly.

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    5. Sunshine on CrieffMay 21, 2017 at 10:02 PM

      Except that elderly care costs are a devolved issue and May's plans won't affect Scottish pensioners.

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  8. James, you should take a peak over at Politicalbetting.com haha they are rounding scared that May's lead is down to 9 in that YouGov poll. Have to say it's very enjoyable to see a lot of smug Tories in panic mode. Some even saying May should come out tomorrow to Weetabixheid Neil and say the dementia tax was a mistake etc.

    Have to say it's very enjoyable after all their smugness especially their attitudes towards the SNP.

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  9. SNP manifesto launch this week should boost polling figures

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  10. If Corbyn and company manage to get Labour to around 40 per cent in England in the next week or so, then things could get very interesting indeed. When I say interesting I mean completely mental. Imagine the Daily Mail/Dacre and the Sun/Murdoch if May either gets elected with a reduced, tiny majority, or there is a hung parliament? Imagine if the SNP held the balance of power? 'Woof' as a certain Scottish sports commentator used to say. The Tories thought they could take the piss by calling a general election, and then being more openly evil and obnoxious than they usually are. They have completely alienated their normally rock solid constituency, namely the elderly and OAPs. What a balls up if this go wrong for them, and how very amusing it would be.

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  11. Corbyn's on the telly this afternoon refusing to bring down immigration and refusing to condemn the IRA.

    Any time Labour gets a boost, they throw it away.

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    Replies
    1. Is the election really about poking immigrants in the eye with a stick? It isn't an issue I really think all that much about.

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    2. Aldo is a liar! Corbyn condemned both sites and said all bombing was wrong. He said both sites were to blame and that both sides needed to work for peace for it to work. On you tube!

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    3. Corbyn was on the British side! Although he did not seem to know it.

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      Delete
  12. If Labour in England are already polling around 34% which is almost 4% higher than what they achieved in 2015 then does that not mean most of the labour seats are safe?

    Looks to me like the Tories have swallowed up the UKIP vote but I don't think the UKIP where in contention in many Labour seats. The Tories largely won a majority in 2015 because they took Libdem seats and there aren't many of them left to take.

    I wonder if we are already in territory that May's majority won't increase much but that individual Tory MPs will come back with larger majorities

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  13. So the story of the debate tonight wasn't Ruth the nazi davidson being her arrogant, shouty, pointing, soilt little turd of a sleazebag self.

    Apparently it's how poverty stricken nurses are having to use foodbanks due to the evil SNP not paying them enough. Even though the nurse in question earns £4,000 more than I do. £27,000 is enough for trips to the USA but not for food?

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  14. The problem for the Jock Nat sis is they may end up having the same ammount of money per person as their neighbour, England that is. The subsidy will end and the Nat sis will have to crawl to the EU for a Greek solution resulting in mass poverty for the Scots while the Germans prosper in our misery. The sad thing is the Nat sis hate the English so much they would sell out our wee Nation to anyone, real scumbags.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love, Love, Love.
      Love, Love, Love.
      Love, Love, Love.
      There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
      Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
      Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game.
      It's easy.
      Nothing you can make that can't be made.
      No one you can save that can't be saved.
      Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time.
      It's easy.
      All you need is love.
      All you need is love.
      All you need is love, love.
      Love is all you need.
      Nothing you can know that isn't known.
      Nothing you can see that isn't shown.
      Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.
      It's easy.
      All you need is love (All together, now!)
      All you need is love (Everybody!)
      All you need is love, love. Love is all you need (love is all you need).

      Delete