YouGov August Tracker

YouGov’s monthly poll for the Telegraph has topline figures, with changes from their last poll, of CON 45%(-3), LAB 26%(nc), LDEM 16%(nc).

The Conservatives are down slightly compared to the last YouGov poll carried out for Compass a week ago, but that one in turn had seen them rise 3 points. The bigger picture is still relatively static. This is not, it has to be said, a huge surprise considering it’s August, but at least we are now heading towards the conference season when politics should wake up again.

Note that the Daily Telegraph reports figures of 46/26/16 in its report of this poll but gives a lead of 19 points in the article and Tony King’s analysis. I haven’t spoken with Peter Kellner to get the absolute final answer, but as far as I can tell the correct figures are CON 45%, LAB 26%.

55 Responses to “YouGov August Tracker”

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  1. WMA 46:26:17 still pretty stuck. I think loads of people are away, the condition of Labour has deteriorated sharply but the polls just don’t seem to reflect this, yet.

  2. Comments on Political Betting this morning that the Euro is at a record high against Sterling and when those people get back home that will be the first thing they notice, guess who they’ll blame!

  3. The Scottish sub-sample from this poll is pretty much in line with all other recent full Scottish polls and sub-samples. Usual caveats regarding sub-samples of GB-wide polls apply. (% change from UK GE 2005)

    SNP 40% (+22%)
    Lab 28% (-11%)
    Con 18% (+2%)
    LD 12% (-11%)
    Grn 2% (+1%)

    If you pump those numbers into the Electoral Calculus Scottish Westminster seat calculator:

    SNP 42 seats (+36 seats)
    Lab 8 seats (-32 seats)
    LD 5 seats (-6 seats)
    Con 3 seats (+2 seats)
    Speaker 1 seat (n/c)

    Sorry Anthony, I would use your own Scottish seat calculator, but you do not have one! ;)

  4. Day/Night-Nurse has worked for me. Look after yourself!

  5. According to YouGov’s own website, the Conservative figure is definitely 45%.

    The full figures are C 45, Lab 26, LD 16, SNP/PC 5, BNP 3, Green 2, UKIP 2, Oth 1.

  6. some very intresting number their but stable never the less, with the conferance season coming up we will then see what that dose to the polls, but in augest the polls settle down and give a truer picture of what is going on and for labour and the lib dems its not good the SNP however look hot and will almost wipe labour out, normal figures for conservative in scotland pritty rubbish as normal people do not want them at this time in scotland.

  7. As if it couldn’t get any worse for Labour it seems the Chancellor has now admitted that there is an economic crisis.

    Whilst a member of the BOE MPC believes that possibly 300,000 people could lose their jobs in the next few months.

    This can only hurt labour further in the polls and in 1-2 months I expect to see C 50 L21.

  8. All of a sudden the Chancellor seems to me to have lurched from a state of lethargic complacancy about the economy to one of virtual panic. If it was ridiculous to maintain for so long that all we were in for was a period of slightly reduced growth then it is equally daft to now claim that the country faces its worst economic crisis in 60 years. It does not and if by so saying this Mr Darling is trying to find some sort of excuse for busting the government’s own rules on borrowing sometime this coming week then heaven help us.
    The consensus of opinion is that we are in for a recession lasting around 12 to 18 months which will not even rival the recession of the early 1990’s never mind the 1970’s.
    My question to the Chancellors supporters on this site-if any still exist- is however simply this.Let us imagine that on Monday you were going to propose to your board that the overseas company you work for should invest in setting up new facilities in the UK. How on earth will you persuade them to do so in the light of the Chancellor’s pronouncement that we are headed for our worst economic crisis in a generation or more? Does this rank as the most irresponsible utterance by a Chancellor of the Exchequer we have ever seen?

  9. Perhaps he had tickets with Zoom! Seriously he sounds like someone about to do a Howe. I wonder if the men in grey suits are lining up in Labour HQ.
    Of course he knows that public spending will have to be drastically cut so for the public sector and local government this probably will be a crisis unparalleled since the 1930’s.

  10. Yes-quite an exraordinary interview.

    He has been dropped in it from a great height though-he must be as “pissed off” as he says we all are.

  11. “My question to the Chancellors supporters on this site-if any still exist”

    Clearly, statistically, the chancellor must have supporters who still visit this site , notwithstanding having their points ignored and being labelled humourless Socialists.

    I work for a company that has a global structure. I’m sure there’s nothing in the Chancellor’s remarks that surprises my CEO – he surely knows the situation for himself anyway. Most international companies are focussed on delivering profit to shareholders – that’s what’s driving them to create parent companies in Dublin, not some great political fear.

    I found Darling’s article a breath of fresh air.

  12. Anthony,

    The link for the “full results” doesn’t seem to be working, what are the Scottish figures?


  13. It is a bizarre set of statements.
    If he’s saying that the economy is about to have the worst recession since the 30s then he presumably thinks GDP will shrink by more than 5.8%.

    Only about a month ago, Yvette Cooper said a recession was not the mid point forecast.

    Personally, I’ve found a lot of the headless chicken mentality since the end of 2007 rather irritating, despite being a critic of the government, and have preferred to wait and see.
    I would guess GDP could fall about 2 points from peak to trough, and the thing that’s anyone’s guess is the knock on effects of reduced confidence.

    Perhaps this was an attempt to claim credit in the last few months of the Parliament when people will probably see that a 6% fall hasn’t happened.

  14. I’m afraid Mr Drling has not done his party any favours. The Tories will exploit it of course but the bigger damage will be that Darling has probably just sucked more life out of the economy.

    It takes a long time for people to realise there has been a shift in the economy. It’s like turning a tanker around in the ocean. Even if the economy is in recovery in 2010 the public will not believe it.

    In 1994 people still felt that we were in recession. 12 nonths ago people were confident about the economy. Expect public goom help to deepen the recession leading to the most vicious of cycles for the Gov’t.

  15. Wolf

    “Of course he knows that public spending will have to be drastically cut so for the public sector and local government this probably will be a crisis unparalleled since the 1930’s.”

    The Chancellor should have known a year ago that this slowdown/recession was coming and done something about public spending. But they haven’t done anything yet and frankly I wonder if they’ll cut public spending this side of an election no matter what the state of public books.

    They may feel their only hope at the next GE is to maintain public sector spending at its current level and if they lose – so what – someone else will have to sort out the financial mess. A scorched earth policy in other words.

  16. Joe James I think you are right-

    This is the Chancellor of The Exchequer-not any old MP.

    This is not the way to adjust the government’s view of how serious an economic crisis we are in.

    He provides no revision to the Treasury forecasts with his remarks. So as you imply we now know the Chancellor thinks the forecasts from HMT about growth prospects this year and next are wrong-, but his own forecast of a recession remains unquantified.

    If we take him seriously he is saying the Treasury have now to revise their forecast down to show a big drop in GDP 2008-2009, bigger than the recession in 1974!

    Shouldn’t this have emerged in a formal statement from the Treasury accompanied by revised forecasts?

    What will the markets make of it all?

    He said the first he knew of the financial problems in money markets last summer was when he saw an FT article about the ECB pumping money into their money markets! -wasn’t he getting intelligence from the tripartite monitoring & regulatory agencies ?

    Headless chicken mode indeed JJB.

    And unbelievably in the same interview he says this :-
    “There’s lots of people who’d like to do my job. And no doubt… actively trying to do it.”

    This perhaps suggests that Darling’s interview was more about personal positioning, & distancing from all that his sinking PM has heaped upon his head.

  17. I think you’re right Colin it is more about positioning himself away from GB and also the earlier comment about the men in grey suits seems pretty spot on. In short the issue is whether anyone is actually going to say to GB you’ve got to go and how he reacts to that.

    I don’t know when we expect the next Poll to reflect this interview and the reactions to it but presumably someone wil produce one within a few days. In that case may be we won’t have long to wait to see how the grey suits themselves act.

  18. Colin
    On a wider issue its kind of hard to take any Treasury forecasts seriously anymore. As recently as march in the Budget he was still telling us that we were going to have modest growth this year and next.

    Makes you wonder how they can be that far out in their predictions and if they can be that far out then why should anyone take any Treasury forecast seriously in the future.

  19. Anatole Kaletski just on tv saying he could have been talking up the doom-so that the awaited “rescue” package + a downturn less severe than his statement indicated = government saves the day=recovery in the polls.

    -but then Kaletski said that would seem out of character for Darling….

    so who knows?

  20. I agree with a lot of what’s been said here.
    The predictions in 1989-1990 of what was to follow were pretty over optimistic. They denied there would be a recession until we entered it. In fact, the swing in output, decling GDP, in August 1990 was surprisingly late in arriving, given the 13% interest rate from late 1988, and 15% from October 1989.

    But Darling’s statement is massively out of line to everything the Treasury has been saying so far, and looks like a deliberate exaggeration, for reasons best known to himself so far.

  21. i watched darlings seach yesterday and he seamed to be very open about the economy but this may only be a ploy to get people to vote for his party but with another month of high action ahead we must let the conferance season finish and then lok at the polling data, my best bet is that as an election comes closer the con’s will do better in scotland and england with the SNP picking up most of the votes but in line with national fiuguers i.e doubleing their seats if not tabling them to 20+ seats

  22. It’s all been said above – this time of course Mr.Darling is helping to dig the grave – good to see a new name in the headlines on self destruct mode ! If it was’nt so frightening to see so many headless chickens in control it would be funny.

  23. I can’t wait for:-

    a)The “Economic Rescue Package” constructed by GB AD & HMT.

    b)The Labour Party Conference.

    c)The first Polls after b)

  24. Really bizarre comment from Darling, can you imagine if there was going to be PMQ’s this week? Cameron would have probably needed a plastic surgeon to remove his smile!

    There’s been discussion over on Political Betting if Darling’s frankness might have something to do with the fact that he’s got the Tories and the SNP breathing down his neck in Edinburgh SW. Darling may be preparing to bow out rather than be voted out. Whatever his reasons he’s undermined Brown and I don’t see how he can continue as Chancellor. I’m starting to think now that Brown might be turfed out and someone like Jack Straw will take over for a “kamikaze” election early next year. Better to take the hit now and let the Tories deal with the economic trouble ahead. That’s still a very risky strategy because if the worst predictions come true Labour will be out for many years. Governments tend to get the benefit of the doubt in their first term, unless they make a complete pig’s ear of it as Heath did, because the electorate knows that it takes time for the impact of a party’s policies to come through. If Cameron wins the Tories should be in power for most of the next decade.

  25. “Most international companies are focussed on delivering profit to shareholders – that’s what’s driving them to create parent companies in Dublin, not some great political fear.”

    john tt:-
    I recommend an article in Sunday Times on this.

    Henderson’s move of it’s corporate head office to Eire is for tax reasons.

    Eire taxes only profits earned there.(as well as having a lower tax rate than UK for Irish earned profits!)

    UK Treasury has a paper out which proposes new UK taxes on overseas income of UK domiciled multi-nationals.

    A delegation last May, including HSBC, Vodafone, Glaxo & others warned the Treasury they might move corporate head offices to avoid any tax penalty on overses profits,unless the uncertainty was removed.They also complained about corporate tax complexity in UK.

    This is about certainty & simplicity (to quote the Sunday Times article)

    GB finds it increasingly difficult to provide either it would appear.

  26. Labour have been pinning their hopes on an economic recovery by May 2010. This optimistic prediction they now recognise as unrealistic.

    I suspect that Darling has made what he thinks to be a a somewhat overly pessimistic prediction in the hope that come the next election things will be relatively good in comparison to his assessment.

    I think this is his ploy, and a rather desperate ploy at that!

    I think Darling and other ambitious labour MPs are getting ‘pissed off’ about their career prospects in politics.

    Surely we are going to see a further small shrink in Labour’s popularity over the coming several months!

  27. I have been looking up various individual seats. Comments at the moment seem to indicate that people who contribute to this site, including ones concerned only with their local seats, are expecting seats around 150 on the Tory target list to be very marginal at the next general election. This corresponds to an 8% swing. Such figures looks about right in relation to current published opinion polls, assuming that there will be some recovery by the Government in the run-up to the General Election, but that this will be limited by the state of the economy and voter’s concerns abdout financial issues.

    Key seats at the moment appear to be places like Warwickshire North, Luton South and Chorley. Interestingly, given the recent “Guardian” article, and taking into account the extra difficulty a Chancellor of the Exchequer (or ex-such) may have at an election, Alastair Darling’s own Edinburgh seat appears to be very much on the front line as things stand.

  28. if the polls are right at this time then darlings seat will go to theSNP by around 5 or 6% with the cons in second but the south of scotland looks god for the cons at best with some seats very hard to call at the time.

  29. 8% still sounds a little steep.
    I think a swing of about 6.5% but once the Tories get that, the electoral system will start to tilt more back in their favour – but not completely, because of the still low turnouts in safe Labour seats.

    This is, of course, assuming it goes the way that looks likely, and nothing turns up to save the government. Doesn’t look that likely, but never say never.

  30. The straight extrapolation is 7% is needed for a bare majority. I think 7% is achieveable but would deliver a clear majority of about 50.
    You tend to get a bias against you in the system when you’re doing badly (although in 1992 the Tories got no bonus from doing well).

  31. Colin – forgive me for not reading the article -your point presumably is that the tax regime in this country is driving people away and I understand that.

    You say :
    Henderson’s move of it’s corporate head office to Eire is for tax reasons

    Perfectly true, but can I enlighten you on a few figures?

    Henderson made losses a few years ago and benefitted from a reduced UK corporation tax in its recent profitable years because it was able to use some of those previous losses. So it paid 14% last year. Next year, that would rise to 28% as the preferential rate has expired. Eire will charge it 20%. Henderson was always going to do this unless the rates were as good as equal, and was not driven by political fear. The jobs are staying where they are (all around the world)

    The numbers? Around £100m profit = £20m tax in Eire, or £28m here. A one off cost to set up the scheme still leaves a first year saving of around £4-£5m.

    It’s hardly a huge loss to the treasury, especially as that company had only paid a little tax. My point though is that for a company to ignore tax reasons to set up in Dublin would be irresponsible to its shareholders.

    So, by how much would Darling have to reduce tax here to compete with Dublin and make the move impractical? Osborne suggests a 25% rate, but that still leaves a substantial incentive to move.

  32. Anthony, do you know when we can expect any more polls? A post-Darling poll might be interesting. Looking at the dates on the tracker, we’re due a Times/Populus poll and a clutch in next weekend’s Sundays. Or will people now be delaying polls until the conference season?

  33. john tt

    ‘I’m sure there is nothing in the Chancellor’s remarks that surprises my CEO’

    Do you really mean to say that your CEO will not be surprised to learn that we are apparantly now facing the worst economic conditions for 60 years’? Perhaps you shoudl start his Monday morning off with a reendition of the Python’s song’Always look on the bright side of life’…..


    Do you think Mr Darling will be presenting the next budget and if not why not?

  34. Phil – normally we’d get Populus tomorrow (actually about 8 o’clock tonight). Populus always do a big conference poll though, that is published bit by bit in the Times with a bit on each party for each conference. They might delay this week’s normal poll to combine it with the conference one due mid month.

  35. Nick – I don’t think he’ll be spooked into panic measures – perhaps he knows that the media highlights some things out of context for the sake of their story. He certainly is aware that the economic shocks of credit crunch + commodities doubling are unprecedented in recent history.

    If Darling really meant we are heading for something worse than double-digit inflation, closure of whole communities etc,
    I think he’d have gone into more detail.

    If he doesn’t present the next budget, I think it will be because he’ll have been given another top cabinet post.

    Or because Brown jumps up and nicks his notes.

  36. john tt
    Thanks for the Henderson figures.

    The thrust of the article I quoted was that the majority of the companies who went to see the Treasury last May were not doing so to lobby for Eire Corporation Tax Rates in UK.

    They objected to a new HMT proposal which would levy UK tax on foreign dividends/other foreign income of multi-nationals who were paying UK corporation tax on their UK earnings.

    The proposal was unclear, and HMT intent was uncertain.
    They also complained about the complexity of UK corporation tax.

    Thus the article concluded that these companies wanted-and still want clarity & simplicity in their UK tax affairs-something they feel they are not getting.

  37. Confirmed that there will be a populus poll tonight. Due around eight pm

  38. And the results of that Populus poll are C 43, Lab 27, LD 18 – no change.

  39. Anthony,

    As I still can’t seem to access the full results, is it possible for you to add some light to the GB v England debate going on elsewhere by telling us if there are marked regional differences to the Olympics questions.


  40. “these companies wanted-and still want clarity & simplicity in their UK tax affairs-something they feel they are not getting.”

    Point taken, Colin, and Iagree. The personal political affiliation of most CEO’s in the city, I would guess, is not “Socialist”, but they simply don’t make decisions based on politics. Certainty, predictability and the best deal for the shareholders are cornerstones.

    Companies who re-domicile in that way will continue to pay tax on obviously UK earnings, Henderson’s move was “notwithstanding” the uncertainty, according to the FT quotes. If plan is to encompass worldwide earnings of multinationals, of course there’s a danger of companies re-locating their operations and jobs to more friendly tax regimes as well.

    Hopefully those companies who are creating Dublin or Luxembourg entities were re-assured enough to spend the considerable legal fees on setting up their Schemes.

    Apologies for diverting debate from the polls –

    So, Colin, you can’t wait for:-

    a)The “Economic Rescue Package” constructed by GB AD & HMT

    The first part is announced to-day. Do you think the polls will reflect public approval of the Govt throwing money at the problems, or will they show a preference to allow the economic pain to run its course without interference?

  41. john

    Reference the Polls I tend to agree with Peter Riddell in the Times recently :-

    “Most voters have given up on the Brown Government, and little it can say or do is likely to shift that hostility.”

    On the Housing package announced today-my reading is that it will have very narrow application in numbers of people.
    Therefore I do not think it will have a Polling effect.

    However-I have a number of key questions about the proposals which I hope will be answered in Wednesday’s financial Press.

    I note that ECB are to review the results of their liquidity injection-they appear to have been landed with some very dubious collateralised debt!

    This prompts thoughts of BoE’s much announced £50billion liquidity aid:-Why did this not improve mortgage availability/reduce mortgage rates & what is the quality of the collateralised commercial debt BoE now holds ( on our behalf!)

  42. john-

    So-that was “the first part”.

    Let’s hope the “second part” gets a better Press.

  43. “BoE’s much announced £50billion liquidity aid:-Why did this not improve mortgage availability/reduce mortgage rates ”

    Mortgage rates have improved as the LIBOR has come down. I myself re-mortgaged recently and know for a fact that if I’d left it another montyh or two I’d have saved £50 a month.

    Apparently the banks have tapped the BoE “emergency” funding scheme by £200bn. My question is how much worse would it be without that emergency facility? The banks still don’t trust each other to lend to each other, and why would they? Theuy are staffed by over-bonussed liars who think only of themselves. I wonder who they vote for.

    Of course the Press is hostile – makes for easier stories – strange though that Darling was accused of freezing the housing market by hinting at stamp duty measures a month ago, yet now the measures are announced, it won’t have any effect at all.

    Similarly, his measures are attacked for costing money, and also attacked for costing next to nothing.

    “little it can say or do is likely to shift that hostility”

    I agree, but I think it applies to the media more than to the public.

    It reminds me of my first wife.

  44. “Theuy are staffed by over-bonussed liars who think only of themselves. I wonder who they vote for.”

    Is this is a casual enquiry about the voting preferences of bank employees-or is it a rhetorical question?

    If it is the latter ,what assertion lies behind your use of the device?

    “Of course the Press is hostile – makes for easier stories”

    Do you mean hostile to all political parties-or just the Labour Government?
    If you mean the latter, do you think this has been the case since it came to power-or that it has arisen more recently?
    If you mean more recently ,why do think this has happened?

    RE. mortgage availability ,it seems clear that the overwhelming factor at play is the change in required deposit levels.If you can raise 20% or more you can get a reasonable deal. If you can’t you may not get a mortgage at all.

    My understanding of this change is that it simply reflects the Lenders’ desire to avoid negative equity in their new loans , in a market where asset values are falling.

    Yes I accept that lenders who have changed overnight from throwing 100% mortgages at borrowers regardless of their ability to repay; to cautious & prudent bankers, have been cynical in the extreme.

    Their use of the BoE & ECB liquidity offers has been just as cynical in my view.

    And for that reason, if phase 2 of Brown’s tinkering with the housing market contains any suggestion that Government will aquire/underwrite ( yet more?)mortgage debt in any significant & generalised way, I trust that such a proposal will be roundly condemned by all the Press as irresponsible support for the irresponsible Bankers you criticise so consistently.

  45. It was rhetorical, and not based on any polls. I simply assume that the board rooms of the banks who bought into US sub prime lean more towards the free-market capitalism of the right (of centre) than to the interventionist left (of centre)

    Hostile to all political parties, and to all people, simply because it makes for an easier story. The same since I can remember. Major and IDS had my sympathy for the same reasons, and the be-nighted Republican VP candidate too (eventhough I’m opposed to her political position)

    The intervention by the Govt hasn’t been tried before in this sort of crisis (credit crunch + commodity and food inflation)
    and would certainly not have worked in the early 90’s.

    We’ll have to wait and see if the housing market continues down (despite interest rate cuts in the next six months). If it does, and people are in fact drawn into negative equity as a result of being tempted in, then the poll reaction will be negative for sure.

  46. Anthony

    I confess that for the first time I am confused as to your policy towards those of us you feel have overstepped the mark. Surely comments like ‘the banks are staffed by over bonused liars’ are far more offensive than calling someone a “Socialist”( which I agree was misdirected) and are outwith the spirit if not the letter of your policy. No? That kind of slur is a sweeping generalisation designed to elict cheap bar room support and should be moderated. If not why not?

  47. Not party political. The whole purpose and spirit of the comment policy is to avoid partisan political sniping, people spinning polls to claim it’s good for their party, point scoring off the “other side”, spinning the latest petty little bit of party hackery to come from party HQ and all that crap.

    Not that there isn’t a place for all that stuff, and that sort of discussion isn’t enjoyable, it’s just that you find it on every other political blog in the world and it bores me, so I wanted to create a rather more non-partisan discussion here. I discourage a lot of political argument because it brings in that sort of mind set (ditto if people hurl abuse at each other).

    I hope for a rather higher level of debate than bar room slurs, but I don’t moderate comments for not living up to it (unless they are racist, libellous or so on), only if they risk going into a party partisan argument. In short, you can be rude about bankers, or estate agents, or management consultants, or holistic therapists… but not Liberal Democrats.

  48. Nick (and anthony) – I regretted the “liar” comment as soon as I read it on the page. I normally self-moderate, but didn’t that time, and it was clearly to caustic in tone.

    My intention was to imply that our current financial troubles are mainly caused by rampant unfettered bonus-seekers rather than by politicians. On reflection “I wonder who they vote for” was wrong

  49. Nick (and anthony) – I regretted the “liar” comment as soon as I read it on the page. I normally self-moderate, but didn’t that time, and it was clearly too caustic in tone.

    My intention was to imply that our current financial troubles are mainly caused by rampant unfettered bonus-seekers rather than by politicians. On reflection “I wonder who they vote for” was wrong

  50. Fair enough John tt

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