Voting intention analysis

Anthony WellsHead of European Political and Social Research
November 04, 2010, 6:49 PM GMT+0

Our daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of Conservatives 40%, Labour 40% and the Liberal Democrats on 9%. It is the first time that YouGov has ever shown the Liberal Democrats in single figures in a poll of Great Britain, and the lowest that any pollster has shown them since 1997.

Recently YouGov have been showing the Lib Dems at around 11% in the polls, so this figure may just be a random blip. All polls, however carefully conducted, are subject to random error. Most quote a margin of error of 3%, meaning that 95% of the time any figure will be within 3 points of the actual figure. This means if the Liberal Democrats are really at 11%, it is inevitable that sooner or later a poll will show them at 9% (or, for that matter, at 13%).

Impact of support

However, the last few days have been difficult ones for the coalition. They have faced criticism over David Cameron's negotiations over the EU budget, over confirming they will almost triple the cap on tuition fees to £9,000 and over the announcement that they will have to implement the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling that prisoners should be able to vote. It is perfectly possible that these have impacted on support for the coalition parties.

The drop in Liberal Democrat support is also echoed by a drop in government approval, at minus 10 it is the lowest net approval rating the coalition have so far record. Our daily polling in the few days will confirm whether or not the Lib Dems really have dropped into single figures.

See the survey details and full results of the latest voting intention poll for the Sun (03/11/10) here

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