There is a new YouGov poll in tomorrow’s Sunday People. I can’t find an online source yet, but Sky TV reports it as showing topline figures of CON 45%(nc), LAB 27%(nc), LDEM 17%(-1).

These figures are almost identical to the previous YouGov poll, not particularly surprisingly given it was only carried out a a few days ago for the Daily Telegraph.

Sky News also reports a majority of people supporting the actual measures contained in the budget, echoing the YouGov/Telegraph and Populus/Times polls. 64% said the supported the increase in income tax, 82% the increase in tobacco tax and 66% the increase in beer tax.

As I wrote after the Populus snap poll came out however, budgets are often more than the sum of their parts. While people said that they supported the measures in the budget, only 5% said it made them more likely to support Labour, 23% said it made them less likely to vote Labour.


153 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday People poll shows 18 point lead”

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  1. See that tory share is higher than combined lab & libdem percentages. Is this a first for Cameron & co?

  2. It isn’t a first, I think there were a couple of polls last summer that had that sort of scenario.

  3. There is no point in ignoring the elephant in the room. Whatever measures in the budget people support (and I think the level of support for the 50p rate is a testament to Labour’s social engineering) – the extent of the borrowing announced is unforgiveable. People like me will be paying for that for practically our entire working lives. I imagine that is the main reason Labour are losing so much support.

  4. This budget and almost everything the government is doing at the moment is underminding TRUST in them. The 50% tax on the rich was Labour’s last role of the dice in an attempt to engender trust. But these two polls show it has not worked.

    Yougov often poll at least one point higher for Labour than other pollsters, so it odds on that following polls will show them on 26 or 25%.

    Bad news for Labour is that a new series of ‘have I got news for you’ has begun. Labour’s misery provided a huge amount of material for mirth. And this is important, for many who do not follow the news carefully may nevertheless watch a programme like this and those who do will get an additional reminder.

    Now that the 50% tax on the rich has not made a difference what is there left that Labour can do to improve their position? The only option left it seems to me is for them to change leader. And for more than 100 Labour MPs it will be their only chance of them keeping their job.

  5. “The only option left it seems to me is for them to change leader. And for more than 100 Labour MPs it will be their only chance of them keeping their job.”

    I can’t see that happening:-

    1) WHO have Labour got to replace him? Absolutely nobody
    2) It is starting to get a bit too close to the General Election for parties to be changing their leaders at this stage.
    3) In a few months time the UK will be going to the IMF with the begging bowl – I don’t think a change of leader will save all that many Labour MPs.

  6. Neil there are several candidates labour could potentially choose. Some may say David Milliband or Harriet Harman but I would prefer someone like Jack Straw.

  7. This poll reinforces the reality that the 50% tax plan has rather than undermined D.C., but has made New Labour appear even more desperate to undermine the opposition. The public weren’t ignorant and remembered the depths to which this Brown Government will sink to survive.

    However, Neil may be overstating the case in reference to the IMF. I believe that the government debts are based upon a number of variables, not least the ability actually raise such borrowing; however as I say the IMF? Its a bit too early to say.

    As for replacing Brown as leader; the last time this was put to the public in an opinion poll did Jack Straw not lead the table of public preferred replacements? (albeit only 23 odd per cent).

  8. @Neil – If labour can get GB to go to the IMF early and then change leader to someone who condems what Gordon has done, then maybe they can win some votes back. Not likely I agree, but I see it as their only chance to save some seats as well.

  9. I agree with Neil.

    Besides, if they changed leader again they would be forced to call an election virtually immediately and they don’t want that.

    Has a governing party even changed leader 3 times in a parliament?

  10. @Dean- Jack Straw has a few negatives in the closet with regards decisions that he has backed etc. He is a good man to have on side but I can’t see him going for the top job, too close to the firing line for that type of politician.

  11. Dean,

    It is precisely because the government will probably be unable to raise the money they plan to borrow that they will need to go to the IMF. Who is going to lend them all that money? And who is going to buy the gilts? Pension funds will be forced to buy some, but that wont even cover the half of it. The banks wont be able to lend all that money, even though Gordon is effectively running some of them. Foreign governments cannot afford it, foreign banks and investment funds will not be so daft. Only the IMF is left. It’s not a question of if, but when.

  12. Keir,

    I do see what you are saying, but who? Honestly? Firstly none of them would have the balls (pun not especially intended) to say Brown has been making a mess – even though everyone knows it. Secondly, the fact that Jack Straw is the most plausible candidate for the succession speaks volumes about the quality of potential replacements.

    And there is still the issue of timing – a problem that is getting more acute by the day.

  13. When 66% support an increase in the tax on alcohol things must be desperate.

  14. The key date is 4th June for both Euro and County elections. If Labour’s share of vote is reflective of recent polls then they will have all the evidence that they need about the likely outcome of a General Election. They will also have a swathe of defeated Councillors up and down the country and angry CLPs that their local men have been turfed out as a result of Brown’s incompetence. If the talking heads don’t hold the line on election night then pressure for a leadership change will build quickly, through political calculation and desperation and I suspect because some in the Labour party will have simply had enough of Brown. He may survive of course, being a pretty ruthless and determined operator, but the wounds would run deep in the party.

  15. What is interesting is that the public seem to support the notion of consumtion based taxing. Labour have alway tried to say that we have a progressive tax system and have shied away from continental europes models for taxation, but it seems they may be out of touch with the common man. A tax on spending and not on income would allow the government to have a direct impact on specific sectors during sector specific downturn (as happens between recessions) and would allow families without much income to reprioritise that money onto essentials which again could run under a reduced tax burden allowing the gov to also target consumers at specific types of products (healthy living etc)

  16. @pete b “When 66% support an increase in the tax on alcohol things must be desperate.”

    Yes this really surprised me. Either there is a secret army of teetotalers out there or there’s a genuine feeling of “We’re doomed” and an acceptance of higher taxes and lesser services.

  17. Sadly for Labour and to an extent the country, because having a poor government doesn’t help in a recession, we are seeing the consequences of a decade of patronage and infighting.

    Both Blair and Brown surrounded themselves with people chosen for their loyalty first and their talent second, and you could even argue that some of the most loyal in both camps targeted and tarnished some of the most talented in the other.

    The end result is not dissimilar to the one John Major found himself in where many of the best people had been purged or disenchanted by Thatcher and they had a dearth of talent in their cabinet.

    More generously I suppose you could argue that the dominance of one leader relying on a kitchen cabinet eventually undermines the vitality of any government be it Thatcher, Blair or Brown.

    A gap opens up between the inner circle and the rest and when the leader falls those deprived of promotion and experience don’t have the repect or recognition with the public to be credible.

    Peter.

  18. @Neil, sorry I did not mean to imply that a change of leader might save a hundred Labour MPs their job but rather with so many facing the sack by the electorate and no realistic hope of a recovery in their support the potential for a leadership challenge is considerable.

    If a leadership challenge were to go very well then Labour might recover to 29% I guess. But if it were to go very badly then 23% in the General Election becomes much more probable.

    I think it would be quite a gamble to try to push Brown out. But with the prospect of so many of them joining the 3 million unemployed I imagine they will consider it worth the risk. It’s quite a well paid job with nice perks, I’ve heard. :-)

  19. I wonder if the price of alcohol is going up in Houses of Parliaments bars?

    I seem to remember that they were exempt when the smoking ban came in (though I believe this has changed since).

    Anyway, considering the extremely dire economic circumstances it seemed to be a do-nothing budget. Beer, fags, and petrol went up as usual. There was a token attack on high earners. So what?

    What was needed was a radical budget (and I don’t mean borrowing even more).

    Just in case this is another candidate for ‘moderation’, I would have said this whichever party had brought a weak budget in at a time of severe economic crisis.

  20. The other thing I wanted to emphasize is the sheer hopelessness of Labour’s situation.

    If there is a sensible arguement for hope of any significant improvement in Labour’s standing I genuiningly would like to hear it. A change of leadership is the only thing I can think of that might improve things for Labour at the General Election.

    For me its like observing a game of chess where one side has virtually lost. In chess you are always working with limited options. If you see a chance of getting your pawn to the end of the board to change it for the queen but you must sacrifice your strongest piece the castle to have a hope of doing this, then if the game is all but lost, it is worth the try. And if the prize is you keep your well paid job then your motivation to try will be strong.

    The castle is of course Brown and the queen a new leader.

    Some MPs may be motivate by self-preservation, some out of a desire to improve Labour’s chances at the following GE, some out of sheer spite. We are not there yet but we MIGHT be soon. Just a few more really bad polls MIGHT do the trick.

  21. Peter – I disagree that John Major’s Government had a dearth of talent. Remember Heseltine and Clarke were in the Government along with Howard and Portillo. You may or may not like them but they were all heavyweights. Who does Labour have – Mandleson and Straw and that is it. So Major had more heavyweights – he was doomed due to time for a change and the ERM expulsion (although that lead to 15 years of growth). The public did not forgive even 5 years later the leaving the ERM and the impression of incompetence. The same is happening now – people may support the budget measures but the debt and hubris of “prudence” and “end of boom and bust” is unforgivable.

  22. prediction con maj 98 in a normal swing

    good niht see you tomorrow afternoon

  23. I was canvassing in a strong Labour area yeasterday in i guess what you would call lower middle class Britian. When i canvassed there before 2005 election there was a mix of labour/lib dems. Yesterday the whole estate with the exception on a few houses will be voting conservative. I don;t remember getting such a good reception on the door step in this area ever.

    A second piece of anecdotal evidence that the polls have it right (or perhaps are overestimating Labours support). Question Time every time somebody took a cheap shot or disagreed with Labour the audience clapped heartedly i read the other on here someone say that the electorate were ready to give Labour Kicking I would not disagree as in our marginal down here for the first time in a while people are really angry with Labour

  24. Ousting Brown and forcing an early general election would be good for the country, IMO, but I don’t see how it would be good for Labour MPs or for the replacement leader so I doubt they’ll do it. From their point of view, surely it would be better to let Brown suffer the almost inevitable disaster of the next election and then oust him, giving the new leader a fresh start in opposition to rebuild the party rather than lumbering him with a massive defeat when he’s barely even out of the starting blocks.

  25. I assume this poll is the one Anthony alluded to a few days ago. Was polling completed by Friday?

    If so I wonder what effect the Gurkha decision will have on the next polls. Joanna Lumley already has ~161,000 signatures on her petition. [Voodoo-poll alert!]

    With the “Expenses” soon to be published, how long can this government survive? The days of Rod Crosby’s “swing-back” NOC are soon to be assigned to the receptical that will be nEU-Labours home – the bin! :D

  26. Virtually every Labour MP signed Brown’s nomination papers.

    No one from the Cabinet saw fit to stand for leader.

    What does that say for the Labour Party? Do they really think they can survive admitting such a monumental cock-up?

    Indeed what does that say for Brown whose charade of a tour of Britain ‘campaign’ saw him behave as if simply making fanciful pronouncements was enough to make events comply with his own warped paradigm.

  27. Oops!

    nEU may be a partisan word. [I’ve been away to long!] Will refrain from using it again.

    Anthony can we have the AJAX script for editing (for five-minutes after first posted)? Seems popular at Mike’s place.

    Sorry for the breech in protocol!

  28. @Philip JW

    I just watched HIGNFY on the iPlayer. From what I remember when Blair was PM they’d tend to have a quick shot at him (as he’s the PM) and then move on. Brown and Labour were getting it all night, apart from the seconds homes bit. That can’t be good for Labour if they are seen to be easy targets for ridicule.

    All in all though, it’s great news for people like Hislop. Plenty of ammunition for the new series.

  29. Antony is making a classic mistake of pollsters, which is to assume that people tell them the truth. As Pete B suggests, it doesn’t seem likely that 66% of people really support a hike in beer tax. Ditto for the other specific measures in the budget. This is just the same as happened last year where people said they supported increases in fuel/fags/booze but in truth (a) didn’t actually want pay more for their vices and (b) that taxes were going up brought home to them how Labour had messed up the economy. This was particular important for the people predisposed to support Labour, who had bought the spin in the newspapers that Brown was turning things round.

    Blair understood this. He knew the totemic value of taxes even for those who didn’t pay them. Even if lower rate earners tell you they support more tax for higher rate earners, a far smaller number actually means it, especially amongst those who hope toearn more in the future. Worse it abandons New Labour’s central tenet that it wouldn’t be prolifigate.

    The overall voting intention figures are therefore much more accurate than detail questions (the latter suffer from structural bias caused by people being embarrassed to say they are a drinker/smoker/driver/aspirer). As Onthejob says, I also suspect that many more are still embarrassed to say they are voting Tory, particularly in marginal wards where they know their vote makes a difference. So I think despite the changes in methodology by the pollsters, they will still be embarrassingly favourable to Labour on election day.

  30. Scary B – I think people genuinely support the higher tax rate. There is almost certainly a social desirability bias in questions on “sin taxes”, but people do tend to express support for taxes that *other people* have to pay.

    That doesn’t mean Tony Blair was wrong. Tony Blair was undoubtedly correct. Policies that are popular when looked at very narrowly can have wider effects on the party image that are negative. Tax rates on the rich is a good example – if asked directly about it people will say they support it, but it also risks making a party look anti-aspirational, hostile to success and overall rather “old Labour”. It poses a bigger risk to Labour, since they spent so long trying to lose the image that they were hostile towards the middle-class.

    My view is that party image is far more important that individual policies when it comes to electoral support.

  31. I don’t see any contradiction at all between the majority supporting some of the measures in the budget and yet Labour losing support.

    The electorate are not as short sighted as some seem to think. They are perfectly aware that it will not be the richest bearing the largest part of this debt burden, it will be middle and lower income taxpayers.

  32. I agree with John; they may support some measures as more-or-less regretfully needed, but they blame Labour for getting them into the situation.

    Before the Budget, there was some debate about whether Labour would use whatever room it had left for manoeuvre to bolster support for the election. What struck me was this:

    a) how the gov’t used no room whatsoever, showing us how dire things actually were and

    b) how well Cameron’s criticisms stuck, powerfully and simply. This may not have been the best-ever speech, but suddenly his views on the Budget did not simply prevail, they dominated the reports; I get the feeling that if I’ve read the IMF reports, the financial journalists have too.

    Note-on-bias: I’m a Tory, but I try to be open-minded and analytical!

  33. to come on to the point about labour MP’s voting for brown to beacome leader, when you have a shot gun in our back you mint think about voting for the candidate thats pointing the gun in effect brown bullied his MP’s into voting for him and no other candidate. in terms of the pollsthis is a time when we are around 1 year from an election that will at this time anyway give a tory majority on UNS of 98 seats however thoes figures were the same for labour in 1997 and they won with 178 maj (speaker included) inthe county elections the first thing we may see is tory council with quite a few labour seats in them going even more blue, the second thing will be labour councils getting a blue background to them and labour will likely lose lancashire.

  34. The SNP have released more findings from additional questions in the YouGov poll:

    On balance do you think Scotland should…?

    Continue to be represented by the UK Government in the European Union – 40%
    Be a member of the European Union in its own right and represented by the Scottish Government – 42%
    Neither of these – 9%
    Don’t know – 9%

    In the referendum, the Scottish Government intends to ask people whether they think the Scottish Government should negotiate a new partnership with the United Kingdom so that Scotland becomes an independent country.

    Do you agree or disagree that the Scottish Government should negotiate this new partnership?

    I AGREE that the Scottish Government should negotiate a new partnership so that Scotland becomes an independent country – 37%
    I DO NOT AGREE that the Scottish Government should negotiate a new partnership so that Scotland becomes an independent country – 52%
    Don’t know – 11%

    Note – In a YouGov poll in January the gap was 26% and in a March YouGov poll it was 20%.

    If the Conservative Party were to win the next General Election, would this make you more likely or less likely to back Scottish independence?

    Much more likely to back Scottish independence – 24%
    Slightly more likely – 11%
    Slightly less likely – 3%
    Much less likely to back Scottish independence – 3%
    No difference – I would back Scottish independence anyway – 14%
    No difference – I would NOT back Scottish independence anyway – 34%
    Don’t know – 11%

    The YouGov poll was commissioned by the SNP and conducted from 21-22 April among 1,020 Scottish adults.

  35. Fascinating results to that last question, Stuart.

  36. On a side note before I even start typing what I was going to say, just read the comments policy and am kinda surprised some of the comments I’ve read got through the supposed moderation….some are far from non-partizan.

    I’m personally thinking it could take a little while longer for the budget to completely kick in to polls, things like the two grand off new cars are slow burners that will put a big smile on the face of someone who doesn’t pay much attention to ‘boring political news’ and is plesantly surprised to find that that Brown has knocked 2k off that car they were planning on buying….

    It seems like the pollsters, and you guys….and myself, all think that the economy trumps everything right now….there was crime data released just recently, mainly good news for the govt (overall crime down 4%IIRC) but with increased robbery that could be focused on by the opposition..however it didn’t get much attention, it’s all the economy.

    This I think makes the predictions of doom for Brown harder to be sure about, with the absolute focus on the economy…if it does start to recover at the end of the year, depending on the size and speed of recovery, it could be really really good news for labour. Most predictions of when and how fast the economy will recover are too late for Brown, and more likely to just make the next government look good whoever it is, but it is possible it might be soon enough to save him, he’s well positioned to squeeze every possible drop of credit out of any signs of economic recovery.

    Cameron has started talking about his parties budget being….I forget the word he used….but frugal..cheaper, spending less….this presents him with somewhat of a problem, although in theory people are in favour of cuts, in practice…they’re not really. He daren’t (I assume) mention anything even vaguely like cutting spending on the NHS, and talking about benefits would be an equally bad idea in times like these. The standard claim of being more efficient that every opposition makes has been very well pre-emptively neutralised by all the media talk of the 15 billion efficiency cuts…although of course I’m sure Cameron will still make the claim…

    The best options for Cameron to go for are probably:
    ==To raise a stink about how terrible (he thinks) Browns MP pay reforms are….but he can’t use this alone as an example of frugality with MPs pay being comparitively nothing to other expenses.
    ==Talking about the costly wars, this isn’t that great an option with neither of them being so unpopular now Iraq has calmed down a lot, and they’re mentally tied up with Blair in the populations mind, not Brown….but it is possibly worth saying…at least make the point that he wouldn’t start any new ones…not that Brown seems particularly inclined to either.
    ==ID cards…a perfect example of something he could save money on without being accused of ‘Tory cuts’, but will the conservatives be able to create (or come across) a situation to start talking about it before Brown scraps it himself, in which case Brown gets the credit, as he can easily blame the whole concept on Blair. Of course…maybe Brown is a big fan of the scheme, and isn’t going to scrap it, in which case it’s all good for the conservatives.

    Overall Cameron is in an excellent situation, but Brown has put him on tricky ground with the budget, not because it has made the govt more popular, but because it’s a difficult one for Cameron to counter, talking about cuts is very dangerous for him, all the wind has been taken out of efficiency sails…it may be that the biggest difference between this budget and the conservative manifesto is the 50% tax, and all other things being equal….I think that’s a win for Labour.

    Of course, other things are far far from equal, but I do think the budget was pretty clever, not for making the government seem amazing right away, but for making things awkward for the opposition.

  37. Indeed Jack.

    Anthony doesn’t rate these “more likely to/less likely to” questions, and normally I would concur with him.

    However, these findings are just so stark, and have been supported by other pollsters’ questions. It really does look that a Tory Govt in London will boost the ‘Yes’ side if the Referendum manages to get on the statute books next year.

  38. “Slightly more likely” when it comes to something so important probably just means sour grapes on behalf of a few Labour voters. I doubt that would really firm up for a Yes vote in reality.

    I hate to say it but I’m in two minds on how I feel about a Yes in Scotland.

    An independant Scotland would rid the rest of us of the prospect of socialist governance for ever I suspect.

    A happy thought on my side of the fence!

  39. As previously stated I think Labour can and probably will sink lower than 28 per cent
    Polls always overestimate Labour’s strength so they are probably looking at less than their 1983 vote
    People and press seem determined to keep kicking Labour until they go to the country
    The end of May next year is 400 days away but Labour are hopelessly at sea and sinking with every batch of polls so ‘hoping that something comes up’ seems to be their only option now

  40. This assumption that the Cons will maintain this lead no matter what is incredibly arogant. I’m from a view that when the Cons finally have to start committing to policies, especially economic, and move away from hinsight led airy fairy headline focused dribble they will come up wanting and be exposed as the part-time amatures they really are.

    I still see the deal is far from being sealed and this is the impression i’m getting every day! It won’t take much of a push to make this lead disintergrate it’s just will Labour be ready – I certainly hope so for the good of the country.

  41. @ Chris – may I be the first to congratulate you on your objectively argued, totally non-partisan comment above?

  42. Chris,
    Unfortunately for people on the left like you and Wood, it appears the population are starting to think anything would be better than the disaster that is Gordon “No more boom and bust” Brown. People are sitting there and actually agreeing with significant parts of the budget, and they still want him out!

    Gordon has ensured that the Tories dont even need to present any policies.

  43. Chris,
    People have certainly been *exposed* alright. Hence the polls.

  44. Wood,
    DC already said in his speech today that the Tories will scrap the big brother spy cards.

    As for your opinion that the budget was clever, lol, well, you are certainly capable of not following the crowd I will give you that.

  45. M- So no need to present any is an argument for not doing so! That’s an interesting one and i’m sure will help pull our country out of this global economic mess.

    Give me the leadership of a man that has given us the longest peroid of economic growth in history, conviently now forgotten by the right, over these part time Con artists.

    Trust me the poll lead will disintergrate when and if the Cons start to put some policies rather than completely empty headline focused rabblings. Soon this amazing free ride the Cons have enjoyed will soon have to be questioned, even by our massively right wing press – wishful thinking maybe!

  46. Chris,
    I did not say that that is an argument for not giving any policies. Im just illustrating the strength of the tide Gordon Brown is in my opinion swimming against. The Tories dont even *need* to give any policies. Thats how much people are against Labour/Brown. Thats all Im saying. Not that the Tories shouldnt give any.

    Your comment about the longest period of economic growth in history is naive and simplistic. Can you honestly not understand how that period of “growth” and this massive collapse might be connected?

  47. It’s not simplistic it’s a fact and certainly wouldn’t be repeated by the Cons.

    The situation, which is trying to be ignored, is a global one. Despite the hinsight economic guru’s no one, especially the Cons, were pointing out a change of economic direction! I could reel out numerous quotes from Cons during this time that completely contridict what they’re saying now.

    Eventually you will have have to start committing to some policies and this will expose what the Cons exactly are!

  48. Anyway i’m not going to convince you and your certainly not going to convince me – hindsight, which all cons love, will be the judge!

  49. I’m on the left???

  50. Chris,
    If Gordon is not responsible for the crash, he was not responsible for the boom either. The *boom* was global *too* you know.

    One thing is true, that only biased Labour supporters can deny, is that Gordon Brown has brought the UK to within touching distance of financial collapse. The borrowing and spending while we were booming. The humongous borrowing now. We are right on the edge and its been GB and GB alone that has been in control of our finances the whole time.

    And *that* is why you see the polls you do. Not because of this Labour spinning about Tory policy this or Tory policy that. As I say, it doesnt really matter what the Tories do at the moment so long as they dont start killing little puppies. People, even many that supported Labour at the last few elections, have woken up to the situation we are in, the situation being created for the future, and who has been in charge the whole time this has been coming about.

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