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Could we have the biggest turnout in decades?


11:01 pm - April 14th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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YouGov’s figures for tonight are out (fieldwork 13th – 14th April):
· Conservative 41%
· Labour 32%
· Liberal Democrat 18%
· Others 9%

The swing from yesterday’s 5pt difference is within the margin of error if you assume the Tory lead is about 6-7pts.

But here is the interesting bit – could this be the election of high turnout? If yes, that would benefit Labour.

The general election will be held on May 6. On a scale of 0 (certain NOT to vote) to 10 (absolutely certain to vote), how likely are you to vote in the general election?
0 – Certain NOT to vote: 4%
1: 1%
2: 1%
3: 1%
4: 1%
5: 3%
6: 1%
7: 4%
8: 6%
9: 9%
10 – Absolutely certain to vote: 65%
Don’t know: 2%

And some questions about voter connection to the parties….

1) For better or worse, only two of the political parties — the Conservatives and Labour — have any real chance of forming a Government after this election. Irrespective of how you intend to vote (or have already voted by post), which of the following statements do you think apply more to the Conservative Party and which apply more to the Labour Party?

The kind of society it wants is broadly the kind of society I want
Applies more to the Conservatives: 36%
Applies more to Labour: 30%
Applies to both parties: 6%
Applies to neither of them: 17%
Don’t know: 10%

It is led by people of real ability
Applies more to the Conservatives: 27%
Applies more to Labour: 22%
Applies to both parties: 8%
Applies to neither of them: 31%
Don’t know: 13%

Its leaders are prepared to take tough and unpopular decisions
Applies more to the Conservatives: 27%
Applies more to Labour: 25%
Applies to both parties: 17%
Applies to neither of them: 18%
Don’t know: 12%

It seems to chop and change all the time: you can never be quite sure what it stands for
Applies more to the Conservatives: 25%
Applies more to Labour: 26%
Applies to both parties: 30%
Applies to neither of them: 9%
Don’t know: 10%

2) Labour, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have now published their election manifestoes. From what you have seen, and putting aide your own party preferences, which manifesto …

Contains the best policies for people like you?
Conservatives: 30%
Labour: 23%
Liberal Democrats: 21%
Don’t know: 27%

Is most honest about the problems facing Britain?
Conservatives: 30%
Labour: 24%
Liberal Democrats: 20%
Don’t know: 27%

Is best for Britain as a whole?
Conservatives: 33%
Labour: 24%
Liberal Democrats: 14%
Don’t know: 30%

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. Alisdair Cameron

could this be the election of high turnout? If yes, that would benefit Labour

Um, traditionally that line has had some truth in it.High turnouts also occur when there is a groundswell (often fuelled by negative feelings about the incumbents) for change. I’m not personally convinced that there will be a bumper turn-out, down to the lack of clear-cut,compelling alternatives to Brown married with a very widespread reluctance to back him with any conviction.
regardless of that, if the evidence for a high turn-out is that You Gov poll, though, Sunny, how can it be construed as good news for labour?: it looks like those surveyed as likely to vote and produce the large turn-out are particularly less inclined to vote labour than other polls have indicated.
Thin stuff really, and no polls of late have shown anything particularly compelling or unusual that couldn’t be error based, but hey, it keeps the hot air and speculation going.

“For better or worse, only two of the political parties — the Conservatives and Labour — have any real chance of forming a Government after this election. Irrespective of how you intend to vote (or have already voted by post), which of the following statements do you think apply more to the Conservative Party and which apply more to the Labour Party?”

I really object to the wording of that. It’s true that few think the Lib Dems have a realistic chance, but that is mostly down to people’s pessimistic attitude to their chances, & things like this only fuel that. It’s not like it was necessary for the question – they could simply have stated that they would just focus on 2 parties to simplify the questions (it’s not like some party isn’t going to feel left out unless it’s a really exhaustive survey – SNP, Plaid Cymru, Green & UKIP to name a few) & left the first bit off.

I have always thought high turnout benefits Labour but there was an article on pb a while ago suggesting it benefits the Tories.

Off topic,

Can I just say that the improvements on this site are working very well!

I shouldn’t think it’ll be the highest turnout in decades. More likely to be among the lowest.

Some Labour voters who stayed away in 2005 will return (or vote Lib Dem or Tory), some Tories who didn’t bother voting for a losing party 97-05 will come back. Most other people are sick of this election and won’t go within a mile of a polling booth.

It would indeed be amazing if so.

PS shouldn’t your headline be “Tory lead rises” otherwise your next “Tory lead falls” won’t be as effective?!

@2 Red

The question is only stating the truth, whether you find it palateable or not. To insist that there is any realistic chance of the LD’s forming a government just makes you look a tad odd.

Whilst there may be an argument for the LD leadership and members to insist they are in with a shout… wouldn’t it just be more honest to say their best hope is to be partner in a coalition, or (lets get really creative here…!) wouldn’t it have been better to agree a pact with Labour before the election to ensure the Tories don’t get in?

It would be lovely to see the LDs in power but it simply is not possible under FPTP.
Even in the unlikely event of these percentages:

LD – 34%
Con – 31.6%
Lab – 25.6%
Others – 9%

would give seats of:

LD – 151
Con – 241
Lab – 229
Others – 29

So there’d still be a hung parliament with most seats going to Lab/Con.

According to this swingometer anyway…

Anyone who gives a shit about democracy will lobby for electoral reform as soon as this circus is over.

caveat before anyone mentions: those %s are assuming a nationwide uniform swing, which is about as likely as the Pope teaming up with Osama and George W. in a Holy Warriors Alliance.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. LabourList

    RT @libcon: Could this election have the biggest turnout in decades? http://bit.ly/c1NKbD

  2. Max

    RT @libcon Could this election have the biggest turnout in decades? http://bit.ly/c1NKbD >> I hope so as it virtlly guarntees a Lab majority

  3. Adrian

    Silly question, easy answer: No. RT @pickledpolitics @libcon: Could this election have the biggest turnout in decades? http://bit.ly/c1NKbD

  4. Carl Hodler

    RT @pickledpolitics: RT @libcon: Could this election have the biggest turnout in decades? http://bit.ly/c1NKbD

  5. Liberal Conspiracy

    Could this election have the biggest turnout in decades? http://bit.ly/c1NKbD

  6. Laura Rudland

    RT @libcon: Could this election have the biggest turnout in decades? http://bit.ly/c1NKbD

  7. Lisa

    RT @libcon: Could this election have the biggest turnout in decades? http://bit.ly/c1NKbD

  8. Leon Green

    RT @libcon Could this election have the biggest turnout in decades? http://bit.ly/c1NKbD #ge2010

  9. topsy_top20k

    Could this election have the biggest turnout in decades? http://bit.ly/c1NKbD

  10. sunny hundal

    RT @libcon: Could this election have the biggest turnout in decades? http://bit.ly/c1NKbD

  11. John Fellows

    ReadingList: Could we have the biggest turnout in decades?: YouGov’s figures for tonight are out (fieldwork 13th –… http://bit.ly/9fdSCj

  12. John Fellows

    ReadingList: Could we have the biggest turnout in decades?: YouGov’s figures for tonight are out (fieldwork 13th –… http://bit.ly/9fdSCj

  13. Generalising » Blog Archive » Turnout figures

    […] figures in full – not just the headline percentages, but some of the subsidiary questions. (14/4; […]





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