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So was it a good Lib Dem Conference?

September 26th, 2009


CON 39% (-2) LAB 26% (-1) LD 20%(+3)

Good news for Clegg’s party from YouGov

A YouGov poll for tomorrow’s Telegraph will bring some welcome relief for the Lib Dems with a three point boost in their rating.  Both the Conservatives and Labour are down, with the Conservatives dropping back below 40%.  The changes are against the Sunday Times poll, conducted by YouGov and published on 11th September.  All the changes are within the margin of error but only just in the case of the Lib Dems.

Despite the Lib Dem conference producing mixed messages from the platform and struggling to make much impact beyond a genuinely headline-grabbing ‘mansion tax’, it would appear that the public liked what they heard.  It makes you wonder what a really successful conference might have achieved.

There look to be some interesting figures further down the questions on the various party leaders with the Telegraph claiming that none is as popular as his party.  Without seeing how adjustments and don’t knows are counted, it’s difficult to draw too strong a conclusion but it’s not good news for Cameron if so (it’s not good news for any of them but Brown’s been personally unpopular and Clegg relatively anonymous for ages).

Of course, Labour and the Conservatives still have their own conferences to come and we’ll only get a true picture after they’ve all taken place.  Even so, a small amount of humble pie on my part – it’s only one poll but if it’s representative, the Lib Dem’s do stand a good chance of gaining during the election campaign from the increased coverage.

David Herdson

UPDATE: Comment from Mike Smithson:
The 20% Lib Dem share is from a pollster which has been rating the Lib Dems at lower levels than the other firms and has only been achieved three times since David Cameron became Tory leader.

The Telegraph commentary about leaders being less popular than their parties appears to be defective. They are comparing one set of data which has been processed in one way with another set that has been processed in another.

Thus the top-line voting figures normally exclude “don’t knows“/”won’t say“/”won’t vote” while the figures in the story to back up their point apparently exclude INCLUDE this group.

    We’ll have to wait for the full data to come out to check this but from the Telegraph report it seems that only 67% expressed an opinion on this question while the voting intention figures are based, after the exclusions, on 100%.

Also on the voting intention numbers the figure for “others” is still at a high level and the trend of this dropping that we saw in the latest ICM poll has not been picked up by the YouGov panel.

On a general level YouGov, unlike the the telephone pollsters, does not weight on certainty to vote and this is one of the elements which has been dragging down Labour with ICM, ComRes, Populus and MORI.