Tag Archives: yougov

What the YouGov profiler says about Lib Dems

YouGov-Profiles-launchMarket research firm YouGov poll a lot of people about a lot of things. As a result they have a data trove which they’ve turned into a visualisation tool which can profile a typical customer for any given brand… including if that ‘brand’ is the Lib Dems.

Before I get to the fascinating screenshots, and you all shout back “But that’s just not true”, here’s what YouGov says about what the data show:

This app does not show the *typical* fan or customer. If it did, most groups would look very similar, and you wouldn’t learn a lot about the specifics of particular thing.

It shows what is *particularly true* about a group. We compare the group to their natural ‘comparison set’ (for example, fans of Downton Abbey compared to anyone who has rated any TV shows) and see which of the thousands of datapoints most overscore in our target group.

Posted in News | 35 Comments

Six months from 7th May 2015: how the polls are looking and what to look for

There are three key things about opinion polls.

The first is what matters are trends, not individual poll fluctuations.

The second is they’re snapshots, not forecasts. (A point made by Lord Ashcroft, to his credit, every time he publishes his latest poll finding.)

The third is the next general election won’t be decided by national party vote shares but by who wins in 650 individual seats. (A point often made by PoliticalBetting’s Mike Smithson.)

Here are the trends…

Here’s a graph which focuses solely on the first of these. It shows the result of every single opinion poll – courtesy Mark Pack’s invaluable spreadsheet – in the 12 months from October 2013 to September 2014 (incl.):

poll trends 2014

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Immigration: are you more clued-up than the British public?

immigrationHere’s your starter for three:

People sometimes talk about ‘net immigration’, meaning the difference between the number of people coming to Britain each year to live, and the number leaving Britain to live in another country. What do you think is the current level of net immigration into Britain? If you are not sure, please give your best guess.

More than two million a year
Between one and two million a year
Between 500,000 and one million a year
Between 400,000 and 500,000 a year
Between 300,000 and 400,000 a year
Between 200,000 and 300,000 a year
Between 100,000 and 200,000 a year
Between 50,000 and 100,000 a year
Less than 50,000 a year

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ICM has Labour ahead, Ukip moving into 3rd place, Lib Dems on 11%

The Guardian published its latest ICM poll — commonly regarded as the ‘gold standard’ — this week. The top-line (with changes on the previous months) was: Labour 35% (=), Conservatives 31% (-2), Ukip 14% (+5), Lib Dems 11% (+1) and Others 10% (-3).

icm poll - oct 2014

Polling in September/October tends to fluctuate, as the noise of conference season often leads to spikes in support for each party in turn which soon fade. There have been two additional events which may have further confused matters: the Scottish independence referendum and last week’s Clacton by-election.

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Good news: Voters places themselves and the Lib Dems in the centre. Bad news: that doesn’t mean they’re liberals

“There’s no future for the Lib Dems as a party of the centre,” goes the cry from radicals on both wings of our party. So I was interested to see this polling data from YouGov (hat-tip Adam Corlett) looking at where voters place themselves on the left-right axis and where they place the parties and their leaders. And yes, I know we don’t buy into the idea of a binary left-right axis, but it can’t be entirely dismissed.

As YouGov explains, “tracking data compiled over as many as 12 years gives a clear sense of how the main parties and their leaders have been perceived as shifting on a left-right scale. The two charts below shows mean scores based on 100 being “very right-wing” and -100 being “very left-wing”.” I’ve super-imposed onto YouGov’s graphics where, on average, voters currently place themselves:

voters left right spectrum you gov 2014

Three quick points:

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The Lib Dems’ ‘bedroom tax’ U-turn: new poll on what the voters think about it

Spare Bedroom Photo by Flack JackThe Lib Dems announced a few days ago the party’s 2015 manifesto would propose reform of the ‘bedroom tax’ / ‘spare room subsidy’, which would means no tenant would have any of their housing benefit withdrawn unless they had turned down an offer of a smaller property.

It was a long overdue climbdown – as I wrote in April 2013: “The principle of the ‘bedroom tax’, then — to try and maximise the availability of social housing and reduce the chronic waiting lists — is

photo by:
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Cool politicians poll showcases the paucity of political debate

I thought we’d scraped the bottom of the barrel when these photos of poor Ed Miliband eating a bacon sandwich led to him being mocked in virtually every publication in the UK. But it gets worse. The other day I sighed when I saw the headline “Ed Miliband is less cool than Sir Menzies Campbell”. Apparently YouGov has been spending time and money asking people how cool a group of current and former party leaders are.

Unsurprisingly, nobody makes it out of the negatives:

You Gov Cool poll

 

It’s certainly true than …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 7 Comments

What links Jeremy Hunt and Peter Lilley? (Tip: If you’re not sure who they are, that’s the clue.)

Who’s the most famous cabinet minister? And who’s the least famous? That’s what YouGov set out to find out by inviting its representative sample of the public to type in the name, unprompted, of the post-holder of six senior cabinet positions. Here’s what they found…

identifiable cabinet ministers - yougov

So Iain Duncan Smith (36% correctly naming him as Work and Pensions secretary) and Jeremy Hunt (28% as health secretary) are the least famous cabinet members. Though, to be honest – like John Rentoul and with due respect to Mike Smithson …

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The Nigel Farage Paradox: the higher his public profile, the lower is public support to leave the EU

Nigel Farage

Here is the Nigel Farage paradox: the more that Ukip’s media profile, poll rating and party membership has grown over the last two years, the more that support for the party’s core mission – that Britain should leave the European Union – seems to have shrunk.

    Sunder Katwala, director of British Future (New Statesman, 3 April 2014)
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YouGov’s Nick v Nigel poll: Clegg wins with Labour, Lib Dem voters; Farage with Tory, Ukip voters

Nick clegg york in europe Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsMy overall view of last night’s Nick v Nigel debate was that Mr Reasonable won it. But then I would think that, wouldn’t I? What did rest of the British public think?

Well, the vast, vast majority of rest of the British public would have had no view either way: they didn’t watch it. But polling firm YouGov did ask those who did watch it – though as Anthony Wells notes, “to get 1000 people for our poll of people …

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Another Coalition? 1-in-5 of the public likes the idea, but is divided between Lib-Lab and Lib-Con pact

Nick Clegg sparked a flurry of Coalition speculation this week, with his (relatively) warm words towards Labour on a BBC Radio 4 documentary this week. Everyone’s had their say – but what does the public think? YouGov has polled them to ask…

The first question asked which option folk would like to see after the next general election…

yougov coalition feb 2014

So a Labour majority government is the preference of most (31%), narrowly ahead of a Tory majority government (29%). A coalition government involving the Lib Dems would be favoured by …

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Official: Lib Dem voters least bothered about penis size

Kudos to YouGov for coming up with the most outrageously crow-barred poll finding to mark Valentine’s Day – that Lib Dem voters are least likely to think that penis size matters.

yougov poll - 14 feb 2014

The findings are not surprising. After all, we’ve always wanted proportional representation. We’ve always been wary of sudden swings to the left or right. And throughout the Coalition, Lib Dems have argued it’s not the size of our parliamentary party that matters, but what we do with our honourable members. We must now gird our …

Posted in Polls | 13 Comments

Must-read analysis from Peter Kellner on where the 5 million missing 2010 Lib Dem voters have gone

A fascinating piece of polling research from YouGov’s Peter Kellner in today’s Guardian, looking at how votes have churned since the 2010 general election.

My working assumption looking at the headline poll ratings has been that there’s been relatively little movement between Labour and the Conservatives, with most of the movement from the Lib Dems to Labour and from the Tories to Ukip. YouGov’s research shows how simplistic that assumption about votes lost/gained in the last four years is:

vote churn peter kellner - feb 2014

Three quick points drawn from this table:

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First Euro poll of 2014 shows Lib Dems at 7%. Can we make being ‘The Party of IN’ work for us by the time of the real election?

The first poll this year asking how people will vote in May’s European elections has been published today by YouGov. It gives the following headline ratings compared with the last elections in 2009:

    Conservative 17% (-11%)
    Labour 24% (+8%)
    Lib Dem 7% (-7%)
    Ukip 19% (+2%)

Feed these numbers (plus those for the Greens, SNP/Plaid and others) into euroelection.co.uk and here’s what it means for numbers of seats:

euro results forecast 2014

The Lib Dems would be reduced from 11 seats to just 4, if these numbers are to be believed. The Tories number of MEPs …

Posted in Europe / International and Polls | Also tagged , and | 40 Comments

Stephan Shakespeare: “It is becoming harder for any party to win an outright majority”

There’s a terrific post in today’s Times by YouGov chief executive Stephan Shakespeare assessing 10 things you need to know about the electoral scene. What makes it fascinating is his summary of quite why 2015 is, in so many ways, hard to read.

For instance, Labour has a small lead in the polls for an opposition party 18 months out from the election – but a small lead may be enough given the current boundaries.

But, set against that, is the fact that voters don’t regard Ed Miliband as prime ministerial and think a Labour victory would make for a …

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YouGov: Nick edges Vince on economic trust

Which politician (or combination of politicians) would the public most trust to run the British economy? That’s the question YouGov asked, and here are results courtesy the PLMR blog:

economic trust

Overall David Cameron has the single best economic trust figure (35%) followed by Ed Miliband (30%). As you might expect this breaks broadly on party lines: 91% of Tory voters trust their party’s leader; 76% of Labour’s trust theirs. The current Coalition partnership – Cameron and Clegg – are trusted by 29%, with Tories less enthusiastic and Labour supporters overwhelmingly hostile.

Intriguingly …

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New Ipsos-MORI poll: Nick Clegg’s leader ratings in 5 graphs

Much excitement among Tories today at the arrival of a new Ipsos-MORI poll showing them drawing level with Labour – 36% apiece – among those who say they’re certain to vote. The explanation’s not too hard to hazard a guess at: the return of economic growth is gradually feeding through into a feel-good factor. (For more on this, see this excellent post by YouGov’s Joe Twyman: ‘“It’s the long term trends, stupid”: the Conservatives, Labour and the economy‘.)

However, it was some of the underlying IPSOS-Mori data concerning perceptions of the leaders which caught my eye… (All the graphs below …

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On the Lib Dem conference polling bump (lack thereof) and what it means for the party

The Labour party’s been enjoying a post-conference bump in the polls on the back of Ed Miliband’s bit of unexpected populism of promising a 20-month energy price freeze. At the weekend, Labour opened up an 11-point lead over the Tories, hitting 42%, its highest level since June.

Of course party conferences frequently distort the polls. We’ll see if the Tories also get a boost from their week’s exposure (or whether the row between the Daily Mail and Ed Miliband has overshadowed it). And then we’ll see if any of these spikes have any kind of long-lasting effect, or — as usual …

Posted in News, Op-eds and Polls | Also tagged , , and | 70 Comments

David Miranda’s detention – what do the public think?

Polling firm YouGov has surveyed the British public on their attitudes to this week’s big news story: the detention of David Miranda, partner of Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who’s worked with Edward Snowden, the former US intelligence officer on whistleblowing / leaking details of the the surveillance activities of the US and British intelligence agencies.

‘Public divided’ is how YouGov’s summarised it, pretty fairly. This in itself is surprising: generally the public favours ‘national security’ over ‘individual liberty’ when push comes to shove. This suggests the police’s actions, possibly in themselves unlawful, have worried more than just the usual civil …

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Opinion polls yadda yadda. OR “Does Nate Silver mean nothing to you? Did he write in vain?”

Two new polls last night: the daily YouGov tracker and the first post-local elections poll from Survation. The spread is interesting:

    Labour: 35% (Survation 39% (YouGov)
    Conservatives: 24% (S), 31% (YG)
    Lib Dems: 11% (S), 10% (YG)
    Ukip: 22% (S), 14% (YG)

As Anthony Wells points out, Survation asks whether people will vote Ukip (most other firms just ask about the main three parties and ‘Others’) so usually gets the highest Ukip poll numbers. This latest survey is in line with the bounce other firms have shown and which the perceived winner of an election often records.

Unsurprisingly, it’s Survation’s poll which has attracted most interest because it shows a gap if just 2% between the Tories and Ukip. Cue cries of ‘Tory meltdown!, ‘Cameron in crisis!’ and every other journalistic cliche.

At the risk of precipitating on the parade of those who love nothing better than to indulge in over-excited hyper-speculation, can I make the following point. Or rather can I ask the following question: Does Nate Silver mean nothing to you? Did he write in vain?

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Three things we’ve learned from today’s opinion polls

Three interesting and important poll findings to report today…

Big lead for Labour according to ICM

polling station -  Some rights reserved by Simon Clayson
First, the Guardian’s monthly ICM poll is out, showing the biggest Labour lead in almost a decade:

    Labour 41% (+3%)
    Conservatives 29% (-4%)
    Lib Dems 13% (-2%)
    Ukip 9% (+3%)
    Others 8% (+1%)

The movements are more or less within the margin of error. Still, the Tories will be pretty disappointed to see the party get no bounce at all from David Cameron’s promise of a post-2015 EU referendum. Perhaps unsurprisingly it …

Posted in Op-eds, Parliamentary by-elections and Polls | Also tagged , , and | 131 Comments

Majority back same-sex marriage

Wedding ringsFrom the polling published this weekend:

Would you support or oppose changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry?
Support: 55%
Oppose: 36%

Amongst Conservative voters the results are 44% – 49% (which is a statistical dead heat, when you remember to factor in the  margin of error).

Interestingly, the majority support comes despite the lead-up to the question being a tadge inaccurate:

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David Cameron: the pro-Europeans’ secret weapon

Writing for the European Council on Foreign Relations, YouGov’s Peter Kellner highlights an important polling finding:

In July this year, YouGov asked this question: ‘Imagine the British government under David Cameron renegotiated our relationship with Europe and said that Britain’s interests were now protected, and David Cameron recommended that Britain remain a member of the European Union on the new terms. How would you then vote in a referendum on the issue?’…

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ConHome pushes case for Vince Cable as Lib Dem leader. It’s enough to make you wonder why…

You’ve gotta love ConservativeHome. No, really. This morning Tim Montgomerie reports a deliciously mischief-making poll from YouGov, commissioned by the Lord Ashcroft-backed site, comparing the standing of Nick Clegg, Vince Cable and the Liberal Democrats in general.

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that Vince Cable performs better than Nick Clegg in all the measures of leadership qualities asked about. (You can see the results in the graph at the foot of this piece.) This leads Tim to conclude: ‘If the Liberal Democrats are looking for a leader who can increase their electoral competitiveness these are powerful numbers.’

Call me …

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More voters think the Tories have broken their Coalition Agreement promises than think the Lib Dems have

Nick Clegg’s announcement on Monday – that the Lib Dems would end the party’s support for the boundary changes pledged in the Coalition Agreement in response to David Cameron’s failure to persuade his party to back the Lords reform pledged in the Coalition Agreement – has triggered a collective how-very-dare-he whine from the right-wing commentariat. Unreliable, betrayal, treachery… and those are some of the kinder words being uttered.

So what does the public think of the Lib Dems’ and Conservatives’ role in the Coalition: how far do they think the parties have stuck to their respective sides of the deal? Well, …

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Three intriguing opinion poll results that made me go, “Hmm, really?”

Looking through some of YouGov’s recent poll results (as you do on a summer’s evening during the Olympics), a trio of responses struck me as, well, slightly bizarre. See what you think…

Lib Dem voters LEAST LIKELY to think Britain is best at cricket, MOST LIKELY to think we’re best at cycling

This may simply be a reflection that ‘Britain’ does not play cricket. Or perhaps just a subjective viewpoint: after all, England is currently ranked the best test cricket team in the world (though fourth in one-day internationals); while …

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Opinion: Exploding the tuition fees polling myth

It is generally assumed knowledge – within the Liberal Democrats as well as in the wider political world – that our party’s poll numbers took a big nosedive right after the coalition government voted (excepting rebels) to change the way tuition works in England by raising the limit on what universities can charge students per year to £9,000.

For instance, a common answer I get when I ask fellow Lib Dems how many points they think we lost post tuition fees is “about 8%”.

What I want to do here is not to discuss the pros and cons of the 2010 Higher …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 35 Comments

YouGov poll shows huge support for Lib Dem drug policy

Last year’s drug policy debate at conference ended with near-unanimous endorsement of the policy motion “protecting individuals and communities from drug harms“, but since then Liberal Democrats seem to have been passing up every opportunity to publicise our new policy.

When Theresa May dismissed the advice of the chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, Lib Dems were silent. When Ken Clarke said the War on Drugs was failing but that decriminalisation wasn’t the answer… Lib Dems were silent. When an audience member of question time last week asked if it was time to control, regulate and …

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Peter Kellner’s advice to the Lib Dems: ditch boundary changes, and get a new leader before 2015

Chairman of polling firm YouGov, Peter Kellner, has a must-read article over at his firm’s site analysing the big challenges facing the Lib Dems at the next election. I know some Lib Dems might baulk at reading it: Mr Kellner, husband of Labour peer Baroness Ashton, is a self-declared non-Lib Dem, and YouGov’s daily polling consistently shows the party’s ratings to be significantly lower than other polling firms do. But get beyond those facts, and it’s clear we need to take on board the stark questions he has for the Lib Dems — even if we disagree with his …

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How the left/right balance of Liberal Democrat voters has changed

It is common to use two political spectrums to sort out where people or parties sit ideologically: the left-right spectrum and the authoritarian-libertarian spectrum. The latter is important in explaining the politics of the coalition’s formation, as it was a defence of civil liberties against New Labour’s post-9/11 authoritarian streak that both saw senior figures in the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives often co-operating in Parliament and also carved out a large area of policy agreement between them.

Since the coalition’s formation, its importance has rapidly dropped. Some of the reasons are straightforwardly good ones – such as delivering on several of …

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