Voting intention analysis

Anthony WellsHead of European Political and Social Research
December 09, 2010, 9:30 PM GMT+0

Today's daily voting intention figures for the Sun show the Conservatives at 41%, Labour at 41% and the Liberal Democrats reduced to just 8%. It is the lowest level of support that YouGov have recorded in the ten years we have been polling, and the lowest level of support they have recorded in any poll from any pollster since 1990.

As with all polls, these figures have a margin of error, and any time there is a poll showing a record high or low for a party, it is likely that it may be something of an outlier. The Liberal Democrats may really be at 9% or 10% - however, our daily polling in the months since the election shows a relentless downwards trend in Liberal Democrat support.

It's hard to avoid the assumption that the latest drop in Liberal Democrat support is connected to the tuition fees policy. Our poll for the Sunday Times last weekend showed 49% of people opposed the tuition fees policy, with only 38% in support. When we asked if the Liberal Democrats were right to go back on their pledge to oppose tuition fees in the light of the economic situation, only 26% thought they were. 63% thought they were wrong, including 44% of their (remaining) supporters. Amongst people who voted Liberal Democrat back in May 2010, 68% thought the Liberal Democrats were wrong to go back on their pledge.

The ongoing tuition fees row also seems to be having a negative effect upon perceptions of Nick Clegg. His approval ratings dropped sharply towards the end of November as the issue of tuition fees came to the fore - in our most recent polling only 33% think he is doing well in his role, with 56% thinking he is doing badly. His net approval rating of minus 23 is by far the worst of the three party leaders. More cuttingly, when we ask about each of the leaders' personal qualities, only 6% of people now think Nick Clegg sticks to what he believes in.

See the survey details and latest results here