The monthly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline voting intention figures, with changes from YouGov’s last poll, of CON 47%(+1), LAB 25%(-3), LDEM 18%(+3). The poll was conducted on the 10th and 11th July.

It looks like a drop for Labour, but the comparisons above are from YouGov’s last Telegraph poll, which itself showed an increase for Labour and drop for the Lib Dems. These figures are identical to the YouGov poll before that, suggesting that the bigger picture for voting intention polls is one of no change.

UPDATE: The Sunday Times got the figures wrong! The actual voting intentions were CON 47%(+1), LAB 25%(-3), LDEM 16%(+1).


64 Responses to “22 point Tory lead from YouGov”

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  1. Paul H-J raises an interesting point (of many) about party finances – I think some [certainly not all] wealthier backers do kind of gravitate to where the power is or looks like it’s going to be.

    I read a story from a former Tory Cabinet Minister that when John Major won the Conservative leadership contest in November 1990, a Company Chairman just entered the room [somehow] completely uninvited and came up to meet him, and that they were convinced that if Labour had won in 1992 he would be after them.

  2. Joe,

    Money is power – or so a lot of people think. It follows that people with money like to go where power is (or appears to be going).

    Actually, many self-made people, including Company Chairman, are interested in being seen to associate with winners, and so will lend their support (& money) to those whom they expect will win.

    The increasing difficulty Labour now faces in raising money – in contrast to the ease that Cameron finds compared to his predecessors – is a sure indicator that the tide has turned against Labour.

  3. Did anyone else see or hear of David Cameron talking about possible short term tax hikes for an incoming Conservative government? I’d think he’d better keep quiet about that otherwise that lead might well vanish very fast. It’s probably what’s needed as well as spending cuts, but I doubt the electorate want to hear it being promised.

  4. I’m back in the UK so can calculate the WMA properly, it’s 45:26:17. So as Anthony says, basically no change since mid-June. But as it sinks in just what a mess Gordon Brown has made of the economy I think there will be a further swing, and by Oct my guess is that we’ll see something like 48:23:20.

    A Labour wipeout isn’t certain but it is certainly on the cards. There has never been a PM this incompetent or unpopular.

  5. Keith –

    The good times have gone probably for quite a while. IMHO What’s needed is big cuts in public spending to try to balance the books. However neither public spending cuts or tax rises will be popular.

    I think DC just needs to be honest and tell it like it is nearer the GE. IMHO the electorate will probably give him the benfit of the doubt given what’s happening at the moment with the economy,prices etc.

    It would also be refreshing to hear a politician be honest and tell us that we’re in a hole and that some short term pain is needed to get out of it.

  6. I noticed the Hefferlump having another go at Cameron in the Telegraph today over his stance on spending pledges and tax cuts.

    The reality is that the kitty is empty – probably worse than 1979 since at least after 1977 Denis Healey took the necessary first steps to cut spending.

    There are two quite different reasons why Cameron & Osborne still want to retain aggregate spending at planned levels, and neither has anything to do with the original reason for this policy. Initially, Cameron wanted to reassure voters that the Tories would not slash public spending – almost the opposite of Labour in 1997 who wanted to reassure the public that they would not increase spending irresponsibly (do they think we haven’t noticed that Gordon opened the floodgates as soon as the promised prudent period expired ?) However – as with so many political promises, the initial plan has been overtaken by events, but the same policy is required for different reasons.

    Firstly, the government is like a supertanker, not a London taxi. You can’t change direction on a sixpence. Even if on day 1 Tories decided to do away with whole chunks of public spending programmes, it would take at least two years to get all the necessary measures through the house and actually free up the funds.

    Secondly, while there may be savings to be made in some areas, even early on, there are two major cost issues and one major revenue issue which make tax cuts unaffordable at the outset.

    These are:-
    a: (recession induced) additional non-discretionary expenditure – viz social security & other benefits
    b: significantly higher debt service payments – yes, all that prudent investment fuelled by borrowing does need to be paid for, and as interest rates edge up again (*), the cost of servicing, never mind repaying, the debt will spiral upwards.
    c: (recession induced) reductions in tax receipts – not just Corporation Tax, but also PAYE (due to reduced employment rolls) and especially VAT (due to falling retail sales)

    (*) the interest cost for the national debt is governed by the price at which the markets will buy treasury bonds, and not by BoE base rate. In the absence of any liquidity in the markets, Libor is a better guide – and that is still well above base rate.

    Before anyone starts attacking me for using the “r” word, please look at the reality of what is happening on the economic front. Growth in Q1 was 0.3%. Even if we assume that it was evenly spread, that works out at 0.1% per month, perilously close to 0%. In all probability, growth was slightly higher in January, practically nothing in February, and turned negative in March. There is now a very strong chance that Q2 will show a contraction – possibly no more than 0.3% – but enough to leave H1 at +/- 0%. It may be worse. Several leading indicators are now truly in negative territory, so the prospects for Q3 showing positive growth are grim. If the Q2 figure comes out at -0.1%, or lower, then we will have a technical recession by the time of the Queen’s speech and PBR.

    I am not at all happy that my country is in such dire straits, but you cannot keep inflating a bubble forever. So many fundamentals in the economy are out of line that the readjustment is going to be painful for us all.

  7. I’ve just seen the BBC film of Cameron and Osborne’s interview, and the headline they’ve given it seems rather over-done. All that happened was that they were asked about it and they (rightly) wouldn’t rule it out. I very much want tax cuts, and the sooner we get them the more money available to private companies and private people to create their own wealth – that will – in time – bring in more tax.

    But – for all that – it is just that – in time.
    No responsible opposition, hoping to be a government, can make such promises when the public finances are deteriorating fast, much as we may dislike it. As Paul H-J says, it is a ship and it takes time to cut public spending, however bold you are at the start. Although tax cuts bring more revenue in over time, and I’ve argued for a firmer statement of intentions, one has to accept that to increase the debts in the short term before savings have materialised isn’t something that a major party is likely to promise (The Lib Dems can promise what they like).

  8. On Pauls point about GDP growth or otherwise, the 0.3% in quarter 1 was a sharp slowdown, but still annualised at over 1%. We will, of course, need to see what happens.
    (In 1990 (different of course), it was surprisingly late in arriving given the high interest rate implemented from late 1988, and the swing in output came in August – at first very sharply, and then a levelling out – but it didn’t turn for quite a long time.)

  9. The point about a potential Labour meltdown is that it opens up a wide range of possibilities, throwing the proverbial spanner of unpredictability into the works.

    The current situation is highly fluid and it is well within the realms of possibility that Labour could still win the popular vote, or indeed, come third overall.

    The 1983 GE provides the starkest contrast between parties achieving around a quarter of the popular vote. Labour gained 27.6% (8.45m votes) and 209 seats, while the Alliance gained 25.4% (7.78m votes) and 23 seats. In the post-Falklands euphoria Thatcher was enabled to streak away with 397 seats on only 42.4% of the nationwide poll (13m votes), giving a majority of 144.

    While the disproportionate outcome regarding seats is unlikely to be repeated the shares are remarkably close on current trends.

    Assuming Labour will lose about 1.5m votes cast compared to 2005 to fall to current poll levels, one has to ask whether Brown can gamble more on alienating tribal or floating ‘aspirational’ voters considering the large swathes of country where Labour will be squeezed further into third place (it is unbelievable that an underfunded defensive campaign will pay any attention to disorganised ‘unwinnable’ seats).

    The other certainty is that the third party will use the publicity of the campaign to increase its share by several points, though by the looks of his economic focus Clegg is playing a neat game likely to attract as many on the right of the spectrum as could be naturally expected to gained from Labour. Though it must be borne in mind the LDs are consequently less likely to gain from this direction if Brown prefers New Labour centrism against old Labour leftism, in which case space for an ‘alternative left’ (Greens?) or alternative to the left (BNP?) opens up.

    Therefore in all bar a tory landslide it seems odd that continued third party progression has been so easily and roundly discounted from the electoral calculations.

    However my prediction is that the landscape will change significantly in favour of more direct two-way fights, and with larger numbers of smaller majorities.

    Localised factors will undoubtedly determine a greater number of outcomes than ever previously and the unpredictability quotient will also rise accordingly.

    Minority and fringe parties should definitely be watched more closely, in my view, to ascertain whether they have the capability to gain seats rather than votes, because this will play a large role in uncovering the battlegrounds where, and battlelines over which the election will be fought.

    Ultimately the story is a question of where parts of Labour vote will go – it is quite probable that it will split all ways and severe splintering will occur sending it into terminal decline, while managing to retain a large rump of more than 200 seats – this time.

  10. Labour is in trouble.

    They must fight with that fact that they have an awful leader and no-one to replace him, let alone anyone who will hold their seat in 2010 with enough of a majority to be secure from head-hunting.

    The political majority is in favour of cutting taxes, which is practically a death-knell for a Labour administration at any time.

    Whilst the Tories are not gaining much in Scotland, and a little more in Wales, this leaves the North as a place where, by elimination, people must be swinging heavily towards the Tories. Labour will have trouble fighting this whilst fighting the SNP in Scotland and Plaid Cymru, both of whom fight for Labour’s current ground (and perhaps to the left) with the bonus of nationalist/regionalist tendencies. Labour is thus attacked from the unionist and nat/regionalist sides.

    Labour may (distantly) have trouble from the left, if the hard-liners get their act together; the unions may be pushed to breaking and, conceivably, more will join the LibDems, Nats and Plaid. But this is a distant position, where the only effects have been Galloway and a few other independents.

    I don’t believe that Labour can even fight a good election; they simply haven’t the cash. The Tories, due to being the pro-business, pro-capitalist party since the Liberals fell apart 100 years ago, can rely on big businesses who, despite some conspiracists, can’t stage the business equivalent of the 1984/5 strike.

  11. I think the most important factor at the next election will be the state of the economy.

    Labour are gambling that the economy will have recovered by Spring 2010. And they can then present Brown as the trustworthy captain who steered the country through the storms of global economic difficulty.

    The real question is whether the economy will recover sufficiently to make this claim believable to enough people to make a significant difference at the election.

    However, I think that even a good economic recovery will not be enough for Labour to win an overall majority. For both Brown and his cabinet are viewed as being quite a lot worse than Blair and his cabinet. And conversly Cameron and his cabinet are seen to be considerably better than Howard and his cabinet. Also it is highly likely that the Lib Dems will do better than current opinion polls are suggesting.

    Last time, Labour were very lucky to win by scraping a majority in so many seats. I really can’t see that being repeated. But the more the economy recovers the closer it MIGHT be.

  12. Philip JW – Labour’s “reputation” for good housekeeping on the economy is gone for good.
    Now they’re rewriting they’re own fiscal rules in order to stay within the limits. Unbelievable !

    I actually feel that we’re in a recession now although the thing about recessions is that you don’t know they’ve happened until some time later because the statistics that confirm a technical recession are retrospective.

  13. It’s even more amazing that the tories have been manouevered into the position where they are now the party of tax rises!

    The polls are in for a shock.

  14. “The polls are in for a shock.”

    Why?

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