Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time

For the first time since the 2010 General Election (in any of the 234 polls published by an established polling company), a poll has shown Labour overtaking the combined Lib-Con vote share.

Tim Horton is Research Director of the Fabian Society

Something interesting has happened in today’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times. For the first time since the 2010 General Election (in any of the 234 polls published by an established polling company), a poll has shown Labour overtaking the combined Lib-Con vote share.

YouGov’s topline results are: Con 35%; Lab 45%; Lib Dem 9%; Others 11%.

In other words: ConDems 44%-45% Labour

As YouGov’s Anthony Wells regularly points out, any one poll could be an outlier, and we should wait and see if these figures are reflected in subsequent polls or not. But, as the graph below shows, this does seem to be the logical continuation of a trend since the General Election, of steady movement away from the coalition parties and towards Labour.

Labour and the ConDems have been neck-and-neck once before (in an Angus Reid poll on January 28th 2011), but this is the first time Labour have edged ahead. At the other extreme, in the coalition’s honeymoon period, Labour were 33 percentage points behind the ConDem share in an Opinium poll from June 4th 2010 which had the ConDems on 61% (Con 42%; Lib Dem 19%) and Labour on 28%.

Over the last nine months, attention has focused on the fluctuating levels of support for each of the coalition parties, with initial attention on the collapse of the Lib Dem vote, and then more recently on a stabilisation of the Lib Dem vote at around 10% and the beginnings of a decline in the Conservative vote share.

But, as the graph shows, underneath this churning, the shift in opinion from pro-Government towards pro-Opposition has been relatively steady throughout.

‘Others’ have also seen a small increase, from the 7-10% range after the General Election to the 10-13% range from around December onwards, with UKIP or the Nationalist parties usually benefitting, depending on which pollster you look at.

I think there is some merit in looking at the combined Lib-Con vote share, relative to Labour, as a measure of political attitudes. Given that those former Lib Dem voters who feel betrayed have already abandoned the party, it is unsurprising that polls show those remaining with the Lib Dems are much more sympathetic to the Tories than to Labour.

Similarly, with Nick Clegg now reciting CCHQ attack lines in a way Andy Coulson could have only dreamed of, it is perhaps unsurprising that many Tory voters have become more sympathetic to the Lib Dems than they once were. So it may become increasingly relevant to look at the combined vote share.

We saw this dynamic in practice with the tactical voting in the Oldham East by-election last month. While any one constituency, like Oldham, may differ from the national polling picture, the Oldham result did show a remarkable consistency with the national picture when analysed in terms of the combined Lib-Con share.

Labour won with 42.1% (+10.2 on the 2010 election); the combined Lib-Con total was 44.7% (-13.3 on 2010). The swing from Lib-Con to Lab was therefore 11.8%, which is pretty much what the national polls were showing in mid-January.

Of course, only time will tell whether this is a useful metric or not. But in the meantime, Labour can be happy at having passed another polling milestone.

40 Responses to “Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time”

  1. Geoff White

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  2. oscarancasey

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  3. Jane Phillips

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  4. Martell Thornton

    Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: Something interesting has happened in today's… //bit.ly/eBLI2J

  5. Mark H

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  6. Broken OfBritain

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  7. politicsinbrum

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  8. Colleen Wiltse

    Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: Labour won with 42.1% (+10.2 on the 2010 elec… //bit.ly/g4SuB0

  9. Chris Penberthy

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  10. Natan Doron

    Great start to Sunday: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  11. Oasis Caretaker

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  12. DfmeH

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  13. Sunder Katwala

    A very interesting chart and post and a v.good spot on Labour v Coalition.

    Labour versus the Coalition polling is interesting (and interesting/important to look at how Labour can close the gap between this and government approval/not is, which is regularly -25). But a caveat about two reasons as to why this would risk exaggerating the cohesion of the Coalition party.

    Certainly Oldham showed a willingness of Tories to vote Coalition LibDem.

    Ashcroft polling shows that 83% of Tories would be willing to vote Coalition, but that only a third of LibDems would also do so. (Put together, I think that would cost the Coalition a bit over 10% of the electorate – two-thirds of 10% and a sixth of 35%ish).
    //conservativehome.blogs.com/thetorydiary/2011/01/83-of-tory-voters-would-support-a-coalition-candidate-but-only-32-of-lib-dem-voters-would-do-the-sam.html

    That is because, even down at 10-11%, the 10% LibDems who remain are not happy Coalition supporters. They seem to split 5% “Coalition and LibDem”, and 5% “anxious about the coalition but still LibDem, but agree with Labour on cuts”. For example, they are 50-35 against the government on the cuts being too severe and too fast.
    //www.nextleft.org/2011/02/how-libdem-voters-have-shifted-against.html

    Any hope for a significant LibDem electoral recovery beyond a “things might turn out OK in an upturn” (when the Tories would surely get the bulk of the credit, however loyal the LibDems have been) probably depends on individual LibDem MPs and national voices shifting from a Clegg-Osborne position to a more Farronite one, as we did see from many of their council leaders last week.

  14. Mr. Sensible

    Tim, is there a fault with the link to the poll?

    I clicked it and got ‘page not found.’

    Can you investigate?

  15. Tim Horton

    For the first time since the 2010 election, Labour overtakes the combined Lib-Con vote share in a published poll //bit.ly/flMtuH

  16. Alan Douglas

    I don’t know why we are even taking our temperature obsessively every day. It’s a bit like betting now on who has the Christmas Nr 1 – the next relevance is over 4 years away.

    Alan Douglas

  17. John Rentoul

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time //bit.ly/gBjFGV >>YouGov, but not ComRes CLD47-Lab42

  18. Nat

    RT @JohnRentoul: RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time //bit.ly/gBjFGV >>YouGov, …

  19. Steven Fielding

    #newlabr Lab overtake combined ConLD vote 4 1st time //bit.ly/gBjFGV but its not total vote that matters, but how it's distributed

  20. StephenMinas

    RT @JohnRentoul: RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time //bit.ly/gBjFGV >>YouGov, …

  21. badgerbrocks

    Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time | Left Foot Forward: //bit.ly/gt1hpW via @addthis

  22. chris star

    Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time
    //j.mp/fgVhF4
    #ukuncut #demo2011

  23. Nick H.

    RT @BrokenOfBritain: RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @Ti …

  24. Joseph O'Brien

    RT @unitonehifi: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time
    //j.mp/fgVhF4
    #ukuncut #demo2011

  25. Trakgalvis

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  26. Ceehaitch

    RT @trakgalvis: RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  27. bee hive

    RT @trakgalvis: RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  28. lilac

    RT @trakgalvis: RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  29. John Breeze

    Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time //bit.ly/ehJMJ5 #Labour #ConDemNation #UKPolitics

  30. Ashley

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  31. Wendy Maddox

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  32. Angela Burton

    RT @leftfootfwd: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time: //bit.ly/ejhTDm writes @TimJHorton

  33. Colleen Wiltse

    Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time …: For the first time since the 2010 General… //bit.ly/eDRlS4

  34. Mr. Sensible

    thanks for the link, Tim.

    We need to take care when looking at Tories’ and Lib Dems’ total vote share; they’re standing as seperate parties at the next election. Or at least that’s the latest version of events.

    But this seems to me to be further confirmation that Labour is winning the argument.

  35. Daniel Pitt

    RT @jb_whovians: Labour overtake the combined ConDem vote share for the first time //bit.ly/ehJMJ5 #Labour #ConDemNation #UKPolitics

  36. Tacitus

    Of course it is good news that Labour is pulling ahead of the Tories, but is it only me that is very disappointed about the extent of the lead? With almost two-thirds of the population believing the poorest will be hit by the cuts and 57% thinking they were cutting too far and too fast, we should be trashing the Tories.

    So why aren’t we? Is it because we have haven’t really raised our flag to oppose these cuts? Have we really countered the criticism that it’s “all our fault”?

    If we were in school now, I think the report would say – promising start, but could do much better if s/he concentrated on the job in hand.

  37. Boris and Ken neck and neck in race for mayor | Left Foot Forward

    […] the first poll since the election showing Labour ahead of the coalition parties combined, as reported by Tim Horton on Left Foot Forward yesterday – with YouGov president Peter Kellner today […]

  38. Robert

    Jesus people who think that people like me would vote for newer labour party to come back in after the shit we are now in must be either new labour Tory hacks or insane.

    Here this comes from labour welfare package.

    Blind people who can walk 50mtrs with a guide dog shall be deemed able to work,( as if they can see)

    Deaf people who can read and write shall not be deemed disabled, (able to work)

    A person who can propel a wheelchair over 50mtrs shall be deemed able to work,( as if they have legs).

    Vote labour not a bloody hope in hell.

    Sell of of the forest cancelled, which shows the Tories are listening, if this would have been Labour Blair and brown would have been on TV showing us who are the masters.

    Nope I spent 46 years in the real labour party.

  39. Daniel Pitt

    Labour overtake #ConDemNation vote share for the first time //bit.ly/ejhTDm

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