That YouGov Poll

That YouGov Poll

Yesterday, YouGov released a new voting intention tracker poll, and it caused quite a stir.  The reason?  It put Labour at 25% - the party’s lowest result in over 7 years.  The Conservatives are now 17 points ahead of Labour, at 42%.  The most remarkable thing about this poll, though, is that it shouldn’t have caused as much stir as it did.  We have, for about a month now, been very clearly in an environment where it is normal for Labour to poll in the twenties and the Tories to poll in the forties.

However, there’s way more to that poll than just the headline figures.  Here are some of the details which didn’t make the front pages:

Labour still suffers badly from the age-turnout problem.  Labour have always suffered from this problem: they are much more popular among younger voters than older ones, but these younger voters tend not to turn out to vote while their elders do.  There are two ways for Labour to overcome this problem.  Either they can power through it by amassing such vast leads among younger voters that the age-turnout dynamic no longer matters, or they can increase the turnout of these younger voters.  The party’s issue at this point is that they’re not doing either.  Below are the voting intention figures for this YouGov poll, organised by age category, as well as projected turnout for each age group

Age group

18-24

25-49

50-64

65+

9-10/10 likely to vote

47

56

76

84

It’s clear, then, that Labour is neither getting large-enough leads among these voter groups nor achieving sufficiently high likely turnout figures. Looking at the oldest and youngest age categories makes the problem for Labour seem stark: their 12 point lead is in a group of people, only 47% of whom say they are pretty certain to vote; among the oldest age group, 84% say they are pretty certain to vote, and here, the Tories chalk up a considerable 39-point lead.

Labour are losing the working class vote.  This is, however, no longer an unusual event – for a while now, the Conservatives have beaten Labour among the C2DE voter base.  Among these ‘working class’ voters, the Tories are on 38%, with Labour trailing on 25%, giving the Conservatives a lead among this group of 13 points.  What’s most interesting in these class-based voting intention numbers is how well UKIP does among these C2DE voters; they chalk up a respectable 18%.  The result is that the Conservative lead over Labour among working class voters is almost twice the size of the Labour lead over UKIP.  These figures would seem to support the argument that Labour is in serious trouble with its traditional base.  With the election of Paul Nuttall to the UKIP leadership, we will be watching these particular numbers with great interest.

Since the 2015 election, Labour has gone backwards by about 5 points.  This is not what an opposition party should be doing.  It currently retains just 69% of its 2015 votership, compared with 92% for the Tories.  It’s interesting, though, to see where these voters are going; and it seems to be the case that the largest ‘leak’ comes from the soft-left, remain-supporting wing of the party who are moving to the Liberal Democrats.  In fact, 13% of all of Labour’s 2015 vote now intend to vote for the Lib Dems.  8% intend to vote Tory next time around, and 5% intend to vote UKIP.  The figure below shows the voter flows from the 2015 election to this latest YouGov poll.

Ipsos MORI's December poll - some notes

Ipsos MORI's December poll - some notes

Labour's bad day, and other stories

Labour's bad day, and other stories