Who's ahead in the polls? Labour sees red, Tories see blue

William JordanUS Elections Editor
April 15, 2015, 3:47 PM UTC

Tory voters overwhelmingly think their party is leading. Labour voters say the same about Labour

Depending on which day you look, it may seem like either Labour or the Conservatives are leading in the polls. Whatever the splash headlines have declared, however, the truth is most likely that the two main parties are extremely close, perhaps statistically tied.

Perhaps it’s unsurprising then that when YouGov polled voters about who they thought was ahead in the polls, they are divided: 29% say the Conservatives are ahead; 30% say it’s Labour. Another 22% say the two parties are “exactly tied” and 19% don’t know.

However, looking deeper into the numbers shows that, within the subsection of voters who say they will themselves vote Labour or Conservative, there’s more agreement. Fully six in ten Conservative voters say their party is ahead in the polls, while only one in ten believe the Labour party is leading. Among Labour voters, opinion is exactly reversed: 59% believe Labour are ahead, while 9% believe it’s the Tories.

Appropriately, Lib Dems are almost evenly divided, with 32% picking Labour and 27% picking the Conservatives, while UKIP supporters believe it’s the Tories with the edge by 36% to 17%.

Not-so-grand coalition

If the polls stay where they are, it’s possible that Labour and the Conservatives could end up tied on election day, in seats or popular vote. Some people have suggested the possibility of a so-called "grand coalition" between the two major parties, something that hasn’t existed in Britain since WWII.

However, YouGov research finds a grand coalition would not be a popular option – at least not yet. Only 21% take the view that such an agreement would be positive for Britain, and would “unite the centre ground and lock out the fringe parties”. 55% say that it would be negative. undemocratic and “deprive the country of a proper opposition”.

See the full poll results