The YouGov/Times poll, conducted between the 12th and 13th September, found that 42% of respondents would vote for Labour, just one point ahead of the 41% who would support the Tories. It also found that 7% of people would vote for the Liberal Democrats in a new election. The only change in voting intentions from the previous poll is that the Liberal Democrats have gained a percentage point while the “others” have lost one.
The poll’s survey report breaks down voters by how they voted in the recent election, how they voted in the EU referendum, their age group, their gender, their social grade and their nation/region.
62% of leave voters said they would vote Tory while 58% of remain voters would back Labour. The two main parties are tied on 41% each when it comes to male respondents, but Labour leads the Tories five points with women (45% - 40%).
1 in 4 Lib Dems now back Labour
As for how respondents voted in 2017, just 65% of June Liberal Democrat voters say they would back the party in a new general election. 26% said they would vote Labour while 6% said they would vote for Theresa May’s party. A further 3% would back another party.
The poll therefore suggests that Labour is now seen as a credible opposition party to the Tories following Corbyn’s June performance, and that the movement is being seen as a soft-Brexit force.
However, it is important to note that while the overall poll sample is a standard poll size of 1,660 GB adults, the sample size for the 2017 Liberal Democrat voters is small (142 unweighted, 98 weighted). This suggests that caution should be urged when analysing these results.
That said, this finding does not appear to be a one-off, with previous YouGov polls revealing similar findings, suggesting that this is a pattern.
The last YouGov poll (30th – 31st August) suggested that 27% of 2017 Liberal Democrat voters would now back Labour. On top of that, the one before that indicated that 19% of those who voted Lib Dem back in June said they would now support Labour.
A pattern can definitely be observed in these recent YouGov polls, but more research needs to be conducted to measure the scale of this Liberal Democrat exodus, as well as to establish why exactly it is taking place.
The full results of the latest YouGov poll (12th -13th September) can be accessed here.