The positive coverage of Brown’s speech was very short lived, being rapidly replaced by almost wall-to-wall coverage of the Sun’s attack on Labour. It seems to be reflected in the polls – today’s YouGov figures are sharp reverse of yesterday’s with the Conservatives back to 40, Labour back into the 20s.

Topline figures are CON 40%(+3), LAB 26%(-4), LDEM 20%(-1). Interesting to note the Lib Dem’s still holding up at 20%, still very early days indeed, but some of that conference boost has at least extended beyond them being on the news screens.

The Sun yesterday said that Labour has “lost its way”. Asked if they agreed, a large majority of YouGov’s respondents did (63% to 27%). However, they were far less enthusiastic about the other (admittedly, rather more over-the-top) side of the Sun’s argument, that “the Conservative leadership can put the great back into Great Britain”. Only 29% of people agreed with this – unsurprisingly hardly any Labour or Lib Dem supporters did. 75% of Tories did, with most of the rest unsure.

Finally YouGov asked if people thought newspaper endorsements were important when it came to how people voted at the election. Opinion seemed to be that they were important… but to other people. Most people (61%) thought they were important in general, but only 12% said it would be an important factor for them personally.

74 Responses to “YouGov Daily Poll – 40/26/20”

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  1. The sharp turnaround may well have been driven by the Sun – and the media coverage thereafter – including various Ministers from the PM down throwing their toys out of the pram.

    But it could equally have been the classic response to a major speech from Brown. The pattern over his 10 years as Chancellor (and even after) was that the Budget or PBR would be announced with great give-aways and apparently politically adept policies. This would get great coverage with positive reactions in the first 24 hours. However, as soon as any scrutiny is applied to the policy announcements the whole thing unravels.

    The pace and extent of unravelling has been rising in recent years. This speech was no different.

  2. promsan So your attitude is thank your lucky stars boy now get down and grovel.
    There are rich corrupt elites in Liberia and Burma who would say the same thing.

  3. ‘Finally YouGov asked if people thought newspaper endorsements were important when it came to how people voted at the election. Opinion seemed to be that they were important… but to other people. Most people (61%) thought they were important in general, but only 12% said it would be an important factor for them personally.’

    Fascinating; perhaps the general electorate is more cluey than we tend to think; but equally we all think everyone else is thick/ a Sun reader….

  4. @Dirty Euro

    “promsan So your attitude is thank your lucky stars boy now get down and grovel.
    There are rich corrupt elites in Liberia and Burma who would say the same thing.”

    No, my attitude is to get off my arse and make myself rich through graft and education and making connections.
    I’ve spent enough time in developing countries to appreciate the opportunities, privileges, and benefits available in this one that too many people take for granted.

    Your whole point seems to be entirely negative – to bring privileged and successful people down to your level; rather than to work to raise yourself up to theirs.

    Redistribution is only morally acceptable when it’s given to those who meet it half way with their own initiative. I’m not wholly against redistribution from the privileged (e.g. the children of entrepreneurs); but I am wholly against redistribution from the entrepreneurs themselves… these are the people who make the money that make the prosperity you want to share out… Communism and Socialism has been tried, it didn’t work, it just extended misery to the masses, and created the usual Animal Farm scenario, where the agents of redistribution become the oligarchs of corruption as in many developing countries.

    Your road is not a road to salvation; but a road to perdition.

  5. Pete B – the whole point of tax credits is that it targets the poorest with the biggest rebates.

    Raising the tax threshold to say £10k might save everyone above that level the same amount, but the idea is to rebate those at the lower end of the scale above £10k by more than those at the top end.

    I think the Tories agree – at least I don’t see it being scrapped by them, although such a step would be consistent with their IHT promise, and might just appeal to those who wouldnever benefit from it.

  6. As Private Frazer of Dad’s Army would say, “Theyr’e Doomed!”

  7. @ John TT

    I was under the impression that the Tories were against the rebate system because it give the poorer more; they claim that this discourages people from getting a first-rung part-time minimum-wage job, since once the loss of benefits/tax credits is factored in, they are very little better off.

  8. Raising the Tax threshold (or reintroducing the 10p rate – more likely), would benefit pensioners as much as teenagers; but it doesn’t incentivise people to behave in more economically productive ways.
    Whereever a threshold exists, employers and employees choices will be affected by it. If you replace flat thresholds with incentives to earn more… rebates, you can influence a more pervasive increase in incomes… human nature is key in this.

    Tax credits are the best replacement for much of the benefit system…


    It’s pragmatic economic Darwinism if you like… make the norm one of something for something; rather than something for nothing… carrots and sticks.
    You move away from fixed dollops of money, to variable rebates, whereby the more you work, the more you keep to some extent; also reintroduce rebates that benefit families with children rather that unmarried permutations.
    On the surface it seems unfair, but there are many indirect savings made through having less “problems” to pay to fix later (e.g.: feral kids; career criminals; noise pollution, litter… the butterfly effect if you like).

    The Tories would be foolish to axe them, as they give them a great way of phasing out and eliminating benefits without reawakening old slurs.
    Tories have a plausible opportunity to recruit some old-style working-class Tory voters, the sort that used to be common in the 50s.

    Benefits have been effectively used as a way of mitigating against the cost of crime; but this doesn’t address the long-term cultural norm of not working; and not aspiring.

  9. Surely if newspaper endorsements are important to 12% of the electorate, then it is true that they are important in general, and the 61% who think this are correct.

  10. promsan My solution is to bring working and middle class people up in living standards by free education and healthcare. How can we get a chance if we do not have free education, and health for all.
    My idea was tried out under FDR and post war UK and it worked it is your idea of extreme capitalism that has failed The USA cut taxes for the rich and is now poorer than us. End of story your ideas failed. My ideas worked.

  11. Promsam – I’m not sure you can substantiate the idea that there’s a cultural norm of not working and not aspiring. I don’t know anyone in that category.

    Sitting on the sofa and waiting for the next fat giro to come in so that you can go to the pub and betting shop is something that some people do, but not a substantial number surely. I suggest they are outliers and we’d be better off helping the main body of people to improve their lot.

    Let’s assume that events will for many people get in the way of their decent pursuit of wealth and fulfilment and a lot of them will need support at some point.

    The key to a cost-effective use of financial support for them lies in education, so that more money can be earned, and so that their kids can enjoy the benefit of growing up in families that feel a bit more fulfilled.

    I agree that financial incentives are useful, but should be combined with a bit more “stick” on occasion.

    Bespoke solutions, rather than wholesale ones.

    The “localisation” that Cameron will bang on about next week is in tune with that, in theory, and I suspect it wiull go down well with the voters.

    Personally, I don’t believe he has the time, money or real desire to put it into practice with any success at all.

  12. Richard – I think (not 100% sure) you’re wrong about Tory policy, and that they agree with the “working tax credit” which to a large extent removes the dis-incentive to take a low-paid job and ensures that they still receive more.

  13. DE,

    There no such thing as free… everything gets paid for.

    Calling education and health “free” is a deception.

    We fund some aspects of education and health because there is a tangible benefit to be obtained both for each person and the tribe as a whole.

    Making the cost of an Art degree the same as the cost of an Engineering degree the same is a distortion of the market and of the relative value of those assets (for training is an asset) to each consumer and the tribe as a whole… it’s a deception to say they are of equal value… we commonly accept that some unis and hospitals are better than others; that some subjects and lifestyles are better than others.

    We can get a chance by knowing the value of our health and of our education, and investing in ourselves in that way.
    I’m not interested in paying for sociology degrees and sex changes unless you can demonstrate to me the benefit to me and to the tribe as a whole; the best way to do that is to assign a value to these things, and money is a tried and tested system for doing that.

    It’s important that we are empowered to take responsibility for our own health and education by being able to take out cheap loans and insurance (which is exactly what happens now… student loans are dirt cheap; national insurance is dirt cheap); and supplement them if we can as we are able to do with our pensions. Handing everything over to be administered by a Terry Gilliam-esque state takes away your ability to take responsibility for your own choices and your own life. We all deserve to get out what we put in, not support scroats and excessive self-perpetuating public paper pushers.

    If you’d read (and understood) anything I’d written on Tax Credits today, you would know that there is nothing especially capitalist about what I’ve said (I’ve said nothing about cutting taxes for the rich) – more to the point, it comes from years of experience; the only extremism has issued from you.
    It’s preposterous to suggest that “the USA is poorer than us”.
    The New Deal was simply the USA promulgating a fraction of what has ever been into place here, and starting from next to nothing; there was no heavy taxation of “the rich” (whomever *they* are), save for agricultural taxation… as most of the truly rich simply rearranged their assets to avoid it, as they do. I suspect you are parroting someone you’ve read elsewhere, who also doesn’t really know what they’re talking about.
    You probably don’t realise how much was raised on products consumed by the working and middle classes there through excise duty on booze and fags.
    You’ve said nothing that proves anything – you haven’t got any ideas, just splenetic, lazy, uneducated, rabid, jealousy of people who get off their ar5e and make something happen instead just talking about it.

    Your idea has just been applied by Labour for the last 12 years… run up debt, throw money at every problem, expand the state, and we are now practically bankrupt for the next 20 years, there’s no money for free this and that – poof! it’s gone, and according to most tables of wealth and prosperity, we’ve drifted down far below the USA …that worked did it?!

  14. John t t

    “Promsam – I’m not sure you can substantiate the idea that there’s a cultural norm of not working and not aspiring. I don’t know anyone in that category.”

    I see many in many places… NEETs, and single mothers are only a part of the picture.
    There are a number of urban areas like that all across the north, and in urban Scotland… some as a result of the loss of mining; others not… many inner city areas… basically, get a map of crime to get a picture… intergenerational dependency on the state.

    news bbc co uk/nol/ukfs_news/hi/newsid_7510000/newsid_7511100/7511192.stm

  15. @ John TT

    Sounds like you’re right, although IDS’s thoughts on simplification of the system are probably part of Cameron’s “range of options”; whether he’ll have the steel to act upon whatever his advisory bodies recommend remains to be seen!

    @ Dirty Euro

    I don’t understand; free education is available for all in the UK until the age of majority and no politician I know has proposed ending that. Free healthcare is also available for all, bar the phenomenally expensive treatments that the Daily Mail serially declares to be “the cure for cancer” which certainly are not.

    We spend far more as % GDP on health than FDR ever did, and even more if you use PPP per capita, although healthcare is far better (and thus more expensive). If you want FDR’s healthcare, go ahead, but it’s far worse than the free stuff on the NHS by a long margin.

  16. Promsan,

    Since it seems we’ve given up on talking about polls let me explain the point that you and people like you continually miss. Not everybody can be an entrepreneur, not everybody is very talented, not everybody is brought up by loving parents who teach them how to get along in life, not everybody is healthy and not everybody is very clever.

    None of that means that people are necessarily lazy or bad. Lots of people work very hard in low paid job or remain unemployed despite trying hard to find work. That’s why we need tax credits, welfare and benefits – to correct for the fact that capitalism has no heart.

    You even put in one of your own posts a callous comment about old people rotting in nursing homes. Are you suggesting that anyone who has been unable to save enough money for retirement deserves to go out like that?

    Sorry Anthony, I know this is all off topic but I think I’m justified in responding to the equally off topic comments by Promsan.

  17. I believe people usually trust labour with the NHS and not the Toriesbecause it is a socialist concept. The NHS doesn’t fit the free market system. I’m not saying that the Tories would dismantle the NHS, but I do wonder what they would do if they win the next election, especially since their plans to reduce our debt appear to be more severs than Labour’s.

  18. Well Steve,

    As should be fairly self-evident, this site has never been 100% about direct and strict discussion of polling – you can’t set strict parameters like that. So we discuss around the polls their implications, and what might be driving them, and where they might go. Most of us also want to maintain the quality of the site and threads and so don’t usually indulge witless trolls like Dirty Euro. Yet we are all happy to indulge in our own wishful thinking, and you are not exempt; nevertheless, I do regret indulging this troll so much – so soz for that.

    No not everyone can be an entrepreneur, but most of us can be entrepreneurial… investing in ourselves and being the active actors in our own lives; the safety net is there when times are tough – not as an alternative lifestyle.

    I’ve got a great deal of experience of hard times and living at the bottom end of society, and I have a lot of praise for social intervention and redistribution such as tax credits, I became somewhat knowledgeable on the subject over years as a working-class student with children and no parents, and having reformed myself from a scroat to realising the liberation of *having no choice* but to work and “choose life”. I have an intimate and detailed appreciation of the options available to people in impoverished urban areas.
    Training and discipline, and having to work are liberating forces in people lives… we don’t need more selfish sociology students on grants dropping out half way gobbling up a share of the pot that could pay for NVQs for people with fewer options; and I appreciate the real benefit of tax breaks for those who create wealth and jobs to fund training for those with few options – a real socialist and a real capitalist – both, is what I am. …and I have had been through all that you mentioned. I understand that real compassion is not handouts, and can see through specious trite aphorisms like “capitalism has no heart” for the deception that they are. Tax credits, loans, and aid for the genuinely unfit fine, but benefits benefit no-one. We need to instill in people a stake in their own lives, and the taking responsibility of their own lives, which is why I’m happy to pay tuition fees from my low wages; and pay back a loan – it instils an incentive to succeed and take it seriously.

    Amongst the low paid jobs I’ve done has been attending to the very elderly and very infirm (in every sense) through the night for months, so I don’t need a lecture on that.
    We, as a tribe, provide for those *can’t* provide for themselves; not those who *won’t* – that’s my point.
    Life is hard for many, and some win; and some lose… to sell people a socialist eutopia is a callous deception.

    I support the NHS – as long as it’s streamlined, and people pay extra for costing the rest of us extra by selfishly put extra strain on the system through alcohol abuse and ignoring strong advice from doctors; so as with student loans, I support a balance between providing lifesaving healthcare, but adding personal insurance for non-essential stuff, as I believe happens on the continent.

    My point in all this is that people who make consistently good decisions and “do the right things” should not be punished, whilst people who make consistently bad decisions and “do the wrong things” are rewarded.

  19. In relation to the Sun asking their readers to vote Conservative, I wonder how many of their readers rely on Tax Credits, Sure Start, New Deal and the Minimum Wage. All of which would go under a Tory Government. The Sun readers should be aware that a backbench Tory attempted to do away with the minimum wage shortly before the summer recess and Cameron failed to come out and say that the Tories would keep it. I can’t see many Sun readers benefiting from the Fox Hunting ban being lifted either. The Sun might want to remind its readership that Cameron was dithering like no tomorrow when Brown bailed out the banks and invested millions into the economy to protect homes and jobs. The Tories were saying ‘sometimes the recession just needs to take its course’. I have no doubt that it was Brown that ensured people stayed in their homes (even if they lost their jobs) by legislation stopping lenders from taking action. Left to the Tories we would be heading into a depression right now rather than coming out of recession as we are.
    I’m really pleased that Brown has agreed to go head to head with Cameron; we’ll see what the polls say when the election is called and the great British public get to see Cameron forced to say what their policies are about. The British public are not daft, we’ll see what they do at the election because when it comes to the ‘crunch’ they will think carefully about which party protects their interests best not just the richest 3000 in the country.

  20. Spot on Karl!
    Have the Tories pledged to continue the winter fuel allowance? I remember large numbers of elderly suffering in the vwinter – the pension ‘bonus’ before Labour won power was a measley £10. Also, didn’t the Tories break the pension link with earnings?

  21. Welcome to the site Karl. You may want to familiarise yourself with the comment policy, linked above.

    There’s an open thread for more partisan discussion here (I’ll do a new one next week)

  22. Al J, Labour has promised to restore the pension link to earnings if they win next year.

    If Goron Brown does well in the debate(s) with David C & Nik C, I reckon we may well be in a hung pariament situaton. It takesonly a few points from the Cons to Labour to change eveything.

    I’ll be watching out for polls this time next week.

  23. Steve I think you’re right. If the Tories poll 40% or under and Labour above 30% then it seems the Tories will be denied a majority. The Lib-Dems will need to get aboove 20% also which seems very likely.

    6 months is a long time. David C doesn’t have it in the bag as yet, and Europe is a real headache for himnow that Ireland has voted yes to Lisbon,

  24. If Cameron makes a mess of it as he did this morning on the Andrew Marr show, surely the polls will change.
    Al you were right about Europe. Cameron wouldn’t promise us a referendum if Poland and Czech ratify the Lisbon treaty. Won’t that cause problems with the likes of Daniel H (MEP) in Europe. If there’s an internal battle within the Conservative party it will probably effect the polls.
    Could get interesting

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