Were there two YouGov polls for the Sunday Times?

I only ask, you see, because in the newspaper online I read of the unions:

Their intransigence is beginning to hurt the government’s standing, as the YouGov/Sunday Times poll shows today.

But in the full polling tables up on the The Times website I read:

Will the strikes, and the prospects of disruption for BA’s passengers, change the way you vote in the election?

Yes, it will make me less likely to vote Labour: 4%
Yes, it will make me more likely to vote Labour: 1%
No difference: 80%
Don’t know: 15%

That’s about as tepid a finding as you could get: a measly net +3%.

A similar story is told by the next question:

In general, do you think the trade unions in Britain these days are too powerful or not powerful enough?

Too powerful 22%
Not poweful enough 19%

Again, a very small +3%.

In both cases not only is the net score small, but it’s well within the margin of error on the poll.

Now of course, perish the thought that the Sunday Times has done anything but display the very highest in journalistic standards 🙂 So there must be a second poll. No doubt about it. At all.

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This entry was posted in Polls.


  • I agree with you the journalist’s quote is too definitive to attribute a decline in the government’s reputation to the results from the one poll. A poor choice of words perhaps? But there are interesting features.

    We know for example that very few marginal switch votes determine UK general elections. A 2-3% point switch from Labour to others on the current polls could be the difference between a hung parliament and Conservative majority. So if the issue really has moved national voter preference 3 points it is not insignificant. That could be a large proportion of all wavering voters. But as you say it’s within the margin of error of this poll, so we can’t say.

    A sample of pre-identified marginal voters in seats that matter would be a better yardstick for measuring the impact of the dispute on the government vote. Better still would be to track the wider perceptions of Labour’s links with the unions and voting intention as this story does not stand in isolation.

    If measuring long-term reputation rather than voting another longer-term impact to consider is how this plays on Labour’s standing with business opinion and the impact that then has on perceptions of their economic credibility.

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