Monday, July 19, 2010

Labour edges up in the polls

In the opinion polls since the general election, Labour has slowly been edging up. We were about 32% in mid June, and that went up to about 35% in early July. And then we appeared to be stuck.

But the latest poll from YouGov (fieldwork 15th - 16th July) shows us on the move again. Here's the figures:

Con 40%
Lab 37%
LD 15%

So we are within 3% of the Tories.

And the cause of this sudden shift? In my opinion it's down to all the stuff in the news about the NHS. Cameron made a big song and dance during the election campaign about not touching the NHS, and here he is looking to break it up by re-organisation.

The Con-Dems seem to have decided that manifesto pledges and promises don't matter, and every day they get more cavalier about breaking them, reasoning that there wasn't that much of an outcry about the last pledge they broke, so why not break some more? It actually does matter, and the effect is cumulative. The more pledges you break the more distrustful the population gets, and then comes the tipping point.

The NHS is also the third rail of British politics. Touch it and you die. If there is any fall-out in patient care as a result of this, the Con-Dems will pay a penalty.

The other interesting thing about the YouGov poll was the response to the question "Do you think this coalition government will be good or bad for people like you?"

Total good 36%
Total bad 39%
No difference 15%
Don't know 9%

That's a change round from the YouGov poll done at the start of July (fieldwork 1st-2nd July). Then it was

Total good 41%
Total Bad 36%
No difference 15%
Don't know 8%

The constant pessimism dripping out of the government combined with such events as the chair of the new OBR resigning, have dented confidence.


DevonChap said...

I fear Snowflake you are showing the same selection bias you were showing in your previous post. You are only choosing data that supports you views and ignoring that which does not. The same way you suggest the Tories are bad for Eurovision results and Labour good based on the fact in 1997 the UK won and in 2010 they came last, while ignoring the 2 last places under Labour, you are only looking at one set of YouGov figures that are unusually good for Labour and ignoring the others. Now YouGov have continued their daily polling you can see trends and also see the natural variation that all polls have. The Sunday Times one you quote is an outlier. That isn’t my opinion, it is that of Anthony Wells of YouGov, “YouGov voting intentions in their Sunday poll were CON 40%, LAB 37%, LDEM 15% – that equals the lowest Conservative lead since the general election, but I’d urge the same sort of caution as I did on the 9 point lead earlier in the week. Until we see a consistent trend, it’s best to assume its just normal random variation around a Conservative lead of 6 or 7 points.”
And of course since the sample for the poll isn’t that representative all the results from all questions, not just the voting intention are a bit suspect. So all your conclusions are a bit tainted.
You only have to look at the figures either side of the one you quote to see that it is unusual.
Date Paper Lab Con LD Con lead
July 19-20 The Sun 35 43 14 8
July 18-19 The Sun 35 42 15 7
July 15-16 Sunday Times 37 40 15 3
July 14-15 The Sun 34 43 15 9
July 13-14 The Sun 34 43 15 9
All these were using the same methodology but natural variation has made the Labour score 2 points higher and the Tory one 2 points lower in the Sunday Times one than the others. The clear average Conservative lead over Labour is 6-7 points (the same as the general election), not 3. Making a big song and dance about one poll while ignoring others is misleading (and since you link to the YouGov website I’m sure you knew about the other polls).
Just picking data that reinforces your natural prejudices or shows what you want to be true is to live in a fool’s paradise. Your opinions are discredited by what is either wilful or ignorant misuse of data.
Anyway, didn’t you say ICM was the Gold Standard?

Quietzapple said...

Do you recall Labour's honeymoon? Lasted nearly two terms. So this is mildly encouraging.

It still remains true that Labour lost because of the economy, the tories were not well p[laced enough on the economy to win, and in 2015 (most likely) it will be The Economy, or you're stupid which will decide.

If the Tories and Nat Liberals can create improving personal finances for a majority in 2014/5 even Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper won't make enough difference.