I don’t think the Telegraph actually published the topline voting intention figures from their monthly YouGov poll this month – I only noticed the Post Office and EU Presidency figures. Anyway, the full data is now up on YouGov’s website.

The topline figures are CON 41%(+1), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 16%(-3). No big change for Labour or the Conservatives, with the Lib Dems dropping to a very low 16%. This was not reflected in ICM’s poll over the weekend and, unless we see any other polls showing sharp drops in Lib Dem support, I expect it’ll turn out to be just a blip.

This is the first YouGov survey since the monthly economic figures which, rather surprisingly, did not show Britain emerging from recession. I was intrigued to see what the effect would be on the economic optimism figures – the answer is pretty much none. 22% expect things to get better over the next 12 months, 37% worse – virtually unchanged from the last two months.

In other questions YouGov asked about the postal strike. Blame for the strike is divided exactly down the middle – 25% blame the union, 25% blame the management, 44% blame them both. Asked about the future of the post office, 48% want to see it remain entirely publicly owned, 24% would like to see it part-privatised and 14% entirely privatised.


46 Responses to “YouGov show Tory lead remaining at 13 points”

  1. The Tory lead does seem incredibly consistent in the range 13-17 points with very few polls (aside from the mid conference ones) showing anything either side.

    Still looking odds on for a comfortable rather than landslide majority for David Cameron.

    It will be interesting to see if the lead reduces once the next GDP figures are relaeased if they show us out of recassion.

  2. Now the Lisbon Treaty is ratified Cameron has to show his hand. It will be interesting to see what happens now. Cameron is in a difficult situation because if he doesn’t promise a referendum on Lisbon he will lose votes. If he does promise it he runs the risk of looking a little silly because the referendum result would be exceedingly difficult to realise.

    Interesting to see where he goes, and the effect it has on the Conservative vote – I would say the next four weeks will see the election won or lost. Right now it is the Conservatives’ to lose – if the wrong call is made on Lisbon it could shrink the Conservative vote under 40 again, and if Labour surprise us all (except Alec) in the PBR they could climb to around 30 again. That would leave very little margin for error, and make a hung parliament a distinct possibility.

  3. If the polls don’t start getting more interesting this blog is going to run out of things to talk about.

  4. The Czech Republic lasted less than 17 years as a sovereign state. Discuss.

  5. “The Czech Republic lasted less than 17 years as a sovereign state. Discuss.”

    Bohemians are way too unorthodox to appreciate te value of the nationa state?

  6. I don’t think Lisbm treat will be a major problem for Cameron; he may lose a point or two as some of his extreme rightwingers go to UKIP/BNP, but even that would be doubtful. They’ll in the main just vote Tory and complain about him. The anti_EU fringe lot will hardly go Lib Dem. or Labour.

    Seriously I always thought a referendum which was not about a point of principle (in or out of EU) but about a book (do you object to the comma on page 33?) was ludicrous from the very start. And as the treaty has happened having a referendum would make the UK look very, very stupid in the world’s eyes as we couldn’t get out of it even if voted no.

    So, having a referendum which is pointless (and expensive) is a a laughable concept-but I’m sure the little englanders / the empire still rules / it’s okay for global terrorism, global crime, global trade unions , global capitalism, global issues but the national state is all that matters head in the sand lot wont see it that way…

  7. People in the real world don’t read the economic figures, so they will make little impact on voting intention (although of course the problems that they reflect will have psephological effects sooner or later).

    The right seem so desperate to win the next election(seems familiar, remember Labour in 1996?) that they are letting Cameron get away with it on Europe.

    I am including to agree with Neil’s quip. Whatever you think of the desirability of European unity (incidentally I am inclined to favour a united Europe if and only if it has proper provisions for democratic accountability), the politicians’ self-serving and undemocratic consititution is simply grossly deficient in its lack of provisions for Europe as an organisation to adjust to its organizational environment. It will end in tears for ordinary people, but not before next Summer.

    The real question is whether Cameron reneging on a promise to hold a referendum will lead to some Tories, probably only a couple of voters in every hundred, to shift from Tory to UKIP. At most this could only make a few seats difference, particularly as I suspect that many of these electors are in safe Conservative seats anyway.

    A more amorphous question is whether his response to the EU shows that Cameron is a Blair Mark II in relation to political opportunism and shallow promises. But where are electors who think this going to go. Hardly to Labour and hardly, for different reasons, to the LibDems. And many such electors will not think of the minor parties. They will just be disaffected, and the Europhiles don’t seem to care.

  8. “The Czech Republic lasted less than 17 years as a sovereign state. Discuss”

    Well of course it hasn’t. Haven’t read a more ridiculous comment on here in a while!

  9. At the risk of stating the bleedin’ obvious, this poll points to the Lib Dem rise in the ICM poll being a blip as much as the ICM one does this.

  10. 19% approve of Government’s record
    21% satisfied with Gordon Brown

    Here we have an example of GB actually doing better than the Government as a whole. Curiously, both are well below the voting intention of 28%

    25% think Labour will run the economy well. Perhaps significantly this was ICM’s voting intention for Labour.

  11. The Lib Dems are almost certainly on 19% This is the figure at the centre of the two polls. It is also supported by other polls taken in recent days.

    If we apply the same principle to Labour’s score it suggests that Labour are on 26.5%

  12. The last six polls show the Tories to be averaging 41.5%

    After flatlining for months on 40% this will be a welcome relief. 40% for the Tories is a slightly precarious figure in terms of them getting an overall majority. So an extra 1.5 improvement puts them into a much more secure zone.

    Speaking of precarious, the 19% for Labour and 21% for Brown points to the plausibility of Labour getting 20% at the GE. This will be encouraging for all the opposition parties.

  13. Cameron is not regaining on a promise – He always said they would hold a referendum if there was an election and the treaty not ratified.

    Its clearly pointless to have a referendum when the treaty has been ratified.

    Cameron is a Eurosceptic. He believes that The EU have taken too many powers from the states. He reflects the geneeral population in that. I am more Eurosceptic than him, I do not believe that reform will work, but it has to be tried before any call to pull out. That is the next step and where a referendum might be called.

  14. Perhaps the ICM poll was a blip.

  15. Could this 4 point difference be down to ‘shy’ labour? what with the polls that are affected more by shyness (IIRC) showing a larger lead?

    I imagine there will be some shifting on the way, post thing dragging on will probably not do labour good, lisbon is probably lose lose for cameron etc….

  16. I think if the decision comes between punishing Cameron for “reneging” on the referendum (and risking a hung parliament or worse) or getting rid of Brown robustly, most potential Tory voters will make the appropriate choice.

  17. “The Czech Republic lasted less than 17 years as a sovereign state. Discuss”

    Well of course it hasn’t. Haven’t read a more ridiculous comment on here in a while!”

    That’s a very well reasoned contribution to the discussion Jack Cornish(!)

    Actually my statement was put rather badly in that it is objectively true, and therefore not suitable for discussion. The Czech Republic was formed on 1 January 1993, less than 17 years ago, and so it has currently lasted less than 17 years as a soveriegn state. It is testament to the high quality of discussion on this site that this statement, despite being true, is the most ridiculous to have appeared for a while. The profundity of all other comments must be considerable.

    What I really wanted people to discuss was whether or not the Czech Republic has now lost its sovereignty. Its president says it has. I agree with him. If the Czech Rep. has lost its sovereignty through the Lisbon Treaty it stands to reason that the UK has lost its sovereignty in the same way. This has psephological consequences (so no, I’m not off topic).

  18. “Cameron is a Eurosceptic.”

    Trevorsden, actually I don’t think he is. A “Eurosceptic” is someone who does not believe that Europe exists. Cameron has visited Europe, and is therefore in a position to know it exists.

    Just because some words have been hijacked by the left and used incorrectly, doesn’t mean we ought to suffer this murder of the English language, much less participate in it.

  19. Neil

    I understood the point of your comment. However, after recent discussions on “sovereignty” here, I think I’ll decline your invitation to rejoin the debate. :-)

  20. Whilst I agree with Frederic Stansfield that most voters do not read the economic figures in any detail they do pick up and take in the central message . The current message of being in recession and that borrowing is too high .
    Now it does not matter whether that the situation with borrowing is as bad as the Conservatives and others make out , the vast majority of voters have taken on that message . FWIW ( and this is not the place to debate this ) I think the seriousness of the situation is rather overstated but it is what the majority of voters think that matters .
    Anyone old enough to remember politics in the late 1960’s will recall that the story of the day was the balance of trade figures which would br awaited with bated breath every month and the TV news would lead with them . A bad set if figures would lead to messages of doom disaster and bankruptcy for the country . Indeed a factor in Heath’s victory in 1970 was a bad set of trade figures during the campaign caused by a UK airline buying 2 new jet aitliners in 1 month from Boeing .
    It was of course all overhyped nonsense , when the balance of trade deficits did not lead to disaster the economists then invented ” Invisible Earnings ” to explain it but within a few years noone mentioned the trade figures at all . The main fact though was that at the time in the late 60’s they were important and the average voter was aware of them .

  21. Even a comfortable majority would be a “landslide” given the bias in the electoral system.

    Otherwise the message is exactly as before: WMA: 41:27:18 and the CLead is exactly in line with the 200 day average. Electorate seems to have made up its mind and without a seismic event Brown and Labour are doomed.

    Events….????

  22. “A “Eurosceptic” is someone who does not believe that Europe exists. ”

    That isn’t my interpretation .

    If we must have these silly labels , I thought that a Eurosceptic was one who had severe reservations about the current balance of power between the EU institutions, and the Member States.

    Such a person does not believe that the EU should be disbanded , or that his own country should leave membership of it. Those views would surely be correctly described as Europhobe.

  23. Europhobe is synonymous with fear (whether the biblical definition “respect” or the modern one “terror”)

    I think the public have terror when they don’t know the full facts, reaspect when they do know the facts but might disagree, and that Cameron has neither fear nor respect because alll he wants is the keys to number ten and will allow Murdoch to share them if that is what it takes.

    A person who would offer a choice on the EU that risked trusting the public to make up their minds on the basis of the full facts. We’ve come a long way from questins like “do you agree that straight bananas are the way forward”. I hope we copuld have a referendum on the Euro, on EU membership, on where we think we should be negotiating from. Based on the full facts. Trusting the intelligence of the populace, and furnishing that intelligence with facts.

    A polling company can only serve its client, and therefore cannot offer progress in eduacating the voters. However, I would hope that polling companies read the views of their afficionados, and perhaps might be able to market themselves to opinion-formers as being well-placed to assist in gauging public intelligence.

    Why wouldn’t Brown have a referendum on Lisbon? He didn’t trust the media to deliver the facts as he wanted to deliver them.

    Why won’t Cameron offer a referendum on anything substantive? Same reason.

  24. I don’t entirely agree with Mark Senior’s implication that balance of payments figures attracted little notice a few years after 1970, if that’s what he meant.

    We had a problem in the late 1980s, particularly from the end of 1987, where this happened, and I certainly remember being worried by it, and it attracting a great deal of attention month after month as the figures arrived.

    After the recession in 1992, the economy did grow in quite a well balanced way, with exports rising above the rate of GDP for several years, and the odd monthly surplus on the balance of payments from end 1993, and 1994.

    Sadly, it has gone very lop sided again, but with continued growth in the economy until 2008, it got far less attention this time around.

  25. Colin,

    These label are silly precisely because they are used to mean what you just said they meant. A sceptic is one who does not believe. When the word is appended to a proper noun it generally means that the sceptic does not believe in the existence of the thing signified, hence Eurosceptic: one who does not believe in the existence of Europe.

    Also, Europhobe. As John TT correctly points out, a phobia is a fear of something – not fear in the biblical sense, but terror – phobia also implies irrationality. Opposition to the EU generally does not arise because of fear on a level which even approaches terror. Perhaps it is fear in a sense which begets opposition to the EU, but that fear – fear of the loss of our sovereignty, culture, values, independence, and other things which we hold dear, cannot be described as irrational. Therefore Europhobia is a condition which, I am convinced, does not exist, or if it does, it is exceedingly rare.

    It is also incorrect to say that opponents of the EU are “anti-European”. It is perfectly possible to be opposed to the EU but very favourable towards Europe and Europeans. Anti-Europeans no doubt exist in some numbers, but to be anti-European and anti-EU are two entirely separate things.

  26. Interesting results on economic prospects. This rather suggests that people are resigned to recession and expect it to work itself out over time, and aren’t swayed either way by the predictions and speculations from various sources relayed in the media. The economy would seem not to be greatly affecting how people intend to vote anymore, indicating that most voters have by now made up their minds.

  27. I always thought “anti-federalist” captured the core of the issue best. Its not perfect (some people who are enthusiastic about European integration don’t actually want to create a formal federation) but it is pretty close. For most “eurosceptics” like me the argument is not about hating, fearing or disbelieving in Europe, and its not about a misplaced belief that Britain is still a Great Power. Its simply a matter of how we see “our Europe” and how we want it to be organised. My views are a bit like “states rights” activists in the US. I accept the EU but want it to stay out of my country’s business as much as possible.

  28. NEIL:-
    “A sceptic is one who does not believe”

    No it isn’t.
    A sceptic is one who exhibits doubt. Synonyms are questioning, probing, testing. Antonym is faith.

    “Therefore Europhobia is a condition which, I am convinced, does not exist”

    Then you will need to find a single word to describe one who-to quote your words-fears “the loss of sovereignty, culture, values, independence, and other things which we hold dear” to such an extent that they wish to leave the EU rather than stay in it to try and remove some of the things about which sceptics have doubts.

  29. Scepticism :-

    from Latin scepticus, from Greek skeptikos one who reflects upon, from skeptesthai to consider.

    A very sensible & neccessary state of being.

  30. @ Colin – the fashion for applying the term “phobia” to opinions with which one disagrees (describing those who hold them as Europhobic, Islamaphobic etc) is itself perhaps a sort of phobia characterised by the need to pathologise viewpoints contrary to one’s own … What shall we call it? Dissentaphobia?

  31. I thought I had strayed on to a political comments site reading the above comments.
    So, back to the Opinion Polls, it will be interesting to see what, if any, changes to voting intentions are caused by the final ratification of the Lisbon Treaty and its consequences.
    When is the next Opinion Poll including those views likely to be? at the weekend?

  32. @ James-careful-you might introduce yet another “in” word to the lexicon .

  33. Andrew Myers

    “I think if the decision comes between punishing Cameron for “reneiging” on the referendum (and risking a hung parliament or worse) or getting rid of Brown robustly, most potential Tory voters will make the appropriate choice.”

    This comment is one of the most silly I have seen…

    It is highly biased… very much lacking in objectivity… and above all not credible… a comment borne more out of a wish than may well be the case…

    It is possible that Cameron and the Conservatives do not suffer any damage over the disasterous predicament that they find themselves in reneiging on their former “Cast Iron Guarantee” of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty…

    However… the Lisbon Treaty issue may well do Cameron and the Conservatives a fair amount of damage. There may be a perception among the electorate… either in the longer term… or during an intense Election campaign… of the Conservatives being seen as Shallow… All Spin and No Substance…

    Who know’s… only time will tell…

    If I were forced to come down to supporting a particular side of the argument… then I feel that doing a U-Turn on a Referendum does give a gift to Labour… if… and if… Labour will subtly campaign on Cameron and the Conservatives being Blairite’s Mark II…

    David Cameron certainly has not done himself any favours in previously Guaranteeing a Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty… whichever way you look at it…

  34. @ Neil

    Sorry I thought that was your comment. The fact that it is from the president of the Czech Republic makes it even more ridiculous! I will now steal an argument from the Economist regarding what Mr Klaus said.
    “Does he really believe that he will no longer be the head of a sovereign state after the treaty comes into force, probably on December 1st? Will he leave Prague Castle, run up the European flag and head to the European Commission delegation office to receive his orders?”

    I really don’t see how Cameron’s position is acceptable here. You can go around for months having a go a Labour for reneging on a promise using semantics as an excuse and then go back on your “iron-clad” guarantee using semantics.
    Have there been any polls on people perception of teh Tories & Europe in recent months?

  35. ipsos mori poll coming out soon, i have been contact by them, the questions were about

    1. the eu

    2. exspenses

    3. trusted mp’s

    4. claims on exspenese

    and voting intentions

  36. Thanks to Stuart Gregory for the information.

  37. I agree with my learned friends who believe the Tories will not be damaged by this to any significant extent. It is not a question of
    Cameron saying “oh we have changed our minds Europe is wicked”. The circumstances are beyond Camerons control, and I think this will be understood. Holding a referendum would only give final proof as to how the British people actually feel.

  38. @Trevorsden – “Cameron is not regaining on a promise – He always said they would hold a referendum if there was an election and the treaty not ratified.”
    This is factually incorrect – Cameron did not make any such distinction, which is why this turn of events is embarrasing. Personally, I doubt this in itself will have much direct impact on the polls, although it might push a few UKIP inclined voters not to support him. I believe the more significant impact will be a general sense of devaluing brand Cameron. Even though this was the only sensible course of action at this point in time, he now potentially comes across as slippery and evasive, with a liability to break promises. This is something Labour can work on, as it chimes with the polling areas where people still have doubts about him.
    I have said previously many times that I do not rate Cameron’s strategic abilities and many months ago predicted exactly this outcome on the Lisbon treaty. Along with the new political grouping in Brussels it was born out of a short term tactical manouvere for Cameron’s personal election campaign, and was ill thought through and a strategic blunder. If Labour can regain some initiative on economic affairs (big if) the story of the Lisbon debacle will be an additional arrow of subtle potency for Labour to fire at Cameron. Labour’s task from here on in is simply to sow doubts about Cameron’s judgement and abilities and hope for the best – a poor decision three years ago has just helped them in that task, and there will be more to come.

  39. “Bohemians are way too unorthodox to appreciate te value of the nationa state?”

    Far too intelligent to take in tabloid sensationalism, more like.

    The Mail and The Sun don’t target you with their loony sovereignty claims, because they respect your intelligence.

    You’re just mailable

  40. “@Trevorsden – “Cameron is not regaining on a promise – He always said they would hold a referendum if there was an election and the treaty not ratified.””

    He never said “not ratified”. His actual words were that there would be a referendum, no matter the “outcome of the Treaty talks”.

    His argument is that “treaty” describes an unratified bill. So he wasn’t lying.

    Just like Brown said that his promise was only for a referendum on a “constitution” and not a “treaty”

  41. ” Scepticism – A very sensible & neccessary state of being.”

    Funny how the trashy tabloids are the only real sceptics then. And intelligent papers don’t bother with it.

    I actually thought “sceptics” just equal maliable minds. People that accept the sensationalism of the subject as fact

  42. Reading forums, and message boards, and paper reaction, I would be amazed if Cameron didn’t get a permanent hit in the polls because of his back tracking.

    Just because a lot of people’s reason for backing the guy was his “cast iron” promise.

    The big issue is the connotations of the situation. The man has gone from being “mr dependable” on europe, to no better than Tony Blair.

    He was on a short leash with trust anyway, in the electorate. He’s a decent “alternate” candidate, but many people wondered whether he was just another wishy washy Blair, making promises he had no intention of keeping.

    I think the fact that he only has a 13 point lead, over a party seeking a 4th term in parliament, during a recession, with Gordon Brown as your opponent, speaks volumes on the publics waryness on the guy.

  43. Cameron going back on his promise over the Lisbon Treaty would only be a gift for the Labour party if they had a leader who the electorate took seriously. Brown should be landing some big hits, but the country’s deep rooted dislike for him wont allow it to happen. Maybe people haven’t been bowled over by David Cameron’s brilliance, but the writing is on the wall for Brown.
    In Hollywood sized lettering.
    Part of David Cameron’s problem is the voters reluctance to get fooled as easily as 1997, but anybody who thinks he is going to lose any serious ground over issues like this are guilty of a touch of straw-clutching.
    The days of any party scoring above 45% in the polls are over, but the Conservative lead remains consistent.
    Damage limitation the order of the day for Labour.

  44. “This is the first YouGov survey since the monthly economic figures which, rather surprisingly, did not show Britain emerging from recession. I was intrigued to see what the effect would be on the economic optimism figures – the answer is pretty much none. 22% expect things to get better over the next 12 months, 37% worse – virtually unchanged from the last two months.”

    Aye… I’ve always said this is a long one, and every bod genuinely in know who comes on the radio seems to back that up… details as to why would constitute a major digression from the topic, however!

    Buckle up, this is the calm before the storm!

  45. “Chris
    “Bohemians are way too unorthodox to appreciate te value of the nationa state?”
    Far too intelligent to take in tabloid sensationalism, more like.
    The Mail and The Sun don’t target you with their loony sovereignty claims, because they respect your intelligence.
    You’re just mailable”

    No Chris, they’re all full of sh!t – just different flavours (I used to work in the glittering world of newspapers… it’s about as cynical a world as you can imagine – no, more!)

  46. …actually that would apply equally to the world of politics too!