The tables from the first of YouGov’s daily election polls for the Sun are now up here and here.

The most recent figures re-asked some statements comparing the two main parties that YouGov first asked back in the 2005 election campaign, allowing us to see just how much the political lanscape has changed since then. Asked which party the statement “The kind of society it wants is broadly the kind of society I want” applies to the Conservatives led Labour by 33% to 29%. In 2005 Labour led by 7 points.

On being “Led by people of real ability” the Conservatives lead by 24% to 18% (in 2005 Labour led by 17). On “Prepared to take tough and unpopular decisions” the figures were Conservatives 27%, Labour 21% (in 2005 Labour led by a towering 23 points). Finally on the negative statement of “It seems to chop and change all the time, you can never be quite sure what it stands for” the figures were Con 23%, Lab 25% (in 2005 Con 35% and Lab 26%).

The second set of tables have a series on questions on the MP expenses scandal. Overall 83% of people thought it was a major scandal and 40% thought that most MPs had been deliberately exploiting the rules for their own gain, with a further 23% thinking about half had. People were evenly divided over whether MPs had learnt their lesson – 48% thought that most MPs now “get it” and will behave in the future, 47% disagreed.

General impressions of MPs were pretty dire – 46% thought them incompetent, 66% more interested in their own personal interests than the public interest, 47% unprincipled, 68% concerned with issues that mattered more to them than their constituents, 70% out of touch, 48% dishonest. The only pair of statements where more people agreed with the positive option was that 48% thought MPs were hard-working, compared to 31% who thought they were lazy.

YouGov also asked whether the expenses scandal made people more or less likely to vote. I’ve seen people speculate in both directions on this question, will it make people more dissillusioned and less likely to vote, or will anger make people more likely to vote? YouGov found 14% saying it would make them more likely, 12% less likely.

92 Responses to “More from the YouGov/Sun poll”

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  1. For those who wish to make this thing as complicated as possible, the best of luck.
    For everyone else, it (as Mr Wells always said) comes down to this: do you make any allowance for numpties who cannot remember who they voted for. Since these retards are supposed to be mainly Labour voters, here is the variance. The only issue between You Gov and AR is the Labour vote share. I am begining to favour AR. Not because it suits me, but because I cannot believe people forget who they vote for.

    Oh yes, the biggest % of the types I mention have gravitated to the South East of England.

  3. I would imagine the “tribal” cores of the Tory and Labour votes are probably fairly similar in size – and the pointlessness of voting for a party “Because my family’s always been X” is equal for any party.

    The point is that the party which is behind in the polls is clearly stripped back closer to just its “core vote” whilst the party that is leading is clearly managing to build a coalition of its core vote with other, less tribal, voters.

    Its probably right that 20-25% of the electorate are in the Tory Tribe and 20-25% in the Labour Tribe. The point being made was that Labour couldn’t fall much lower because they are already close to their core vote level. The same would be true of the Tories if they were polling around 30%.

  4. @ NEIL A
    Quite so.

  5. Amber,

    ” but I think we have a ’shy Tory’ among us too”

    Hunt them down and show no mercy… family or not.


  6. @Roland Hains

    There is evidence to support false recall.

    If you read the article in the sidebar on Weighting, you will find this under Political Weighting

    “… since the last British Election Study checked people who said they’d voted against the marked electoral register, and those people who said they’d voted but hadn’t did disproportionately claim they’d voted Labour. Whatever the reasons, the general trend is that more people claim they voted Labour that actually did, and fewer people claim they voted Lib Dem than actually did.”

    You can deny its existence if you like, but even AR do not deny its existence – they acknowledge its existence but don’t correct for it. Other pollsters disagree with this approach.

    As we’ve discussed before on this site, false recall on its own cannot explain anywhere near the difference on the Labour shares. Something else is affecting AR polls.

  7. the boost for labour and the tories in AR and yougov could e todo with the scotish conservatives having there conferance and giving a booost to them north of the border i.e more votes in te areas were both parties need them but vital votes in tory target seats

  8. @ PETER

    Re: Shy Tory – ROFL :-)

    Many of my family live in Perth. I have convinced them to vote SNP. And I will drive them to the polling station whilst playing a RunRig CD.

  9. oldnat
    `The Cally Merc thinks that the Scottish sample was around 600 respondents.´

    Prof Curtice says in the Thunderer:
    The YouGov figures were based on a sample of just 562 respondents. ,,, Even the 562 figure was only obtained by adding extra Scottish respondents from earlier unpublished polls to the respondents who formed part of YouGov’s latest UK-wide poll.

    I’ll post more with links on BwB.

  10. Interesting that the polls seem to now show a stabilisation and for Cameron after the ‘Tory wobble’ in January. If so, this leads me to think that their supoprt is strong enough to take a few knocks, or at least that the public’s view of Labour is so bad that even if they land significant blows on the Tories it won’t help them.

    Previously I have posted with a view that Labour could reap rewards from an improving economy which, while on a very tight time line, might bring them back into the game by the GE. For this to happen they needed lots of luck and a string of upside news. This isn’t now happening. Putting aside UK politics, the global credit markets are looking serious again, with big cancellations of company bond issues as investors take flight. Over the last two weeks or so lots of indicators are suggesting more serious trouble ahead, and this could remove Labour’s last weapon – optimism. It also could well make the result of the GE largely irrelevant – post May there may not be any real choices for a UK government to make. Globally, things are on a knife edge. I hope for all our sakes it falls the right way, and against this I frankly couldn’t give two hoots who wins in May.

  11. @ ALEC

    Are you refering to a specific news article regarding bond market meltdown?

    All I’ve read is:
    1. China are selling US treasury because they want to invest in equity.
    2. There were large issues & take ups of corporate bonds in January; this has caused some saturation of the corporate bond market.
    3. Standard & Poor are marking down the credit ratings of corporations who issue bonds instead of equities.

    China & Japan are the biggest non-US holders of US treasury bonds; if they collapse the market, they could cause themselves a great deal of financial pain.

    So if you do have a specific reference for your post, I’d be interested in reading it.

  12. Anthony

    Any comment on John Curtice’s statement in the Times, that Brownedov’s post?

    Do you know of any previous occasion when YouGov have done something like this?

    Will YouGov publish the details of this “poll” and their methodology?

  13. The association by Yougov with The Sun will boost it’s income but diminish it’s reputation as a responsible and reputable pollster .

  14. ALEC

    I share your view about the general economic outlook.

    It does not look good in EU .

    The January UK borrowing figures were a shaker.
    One can only imagine what the true state of 2009/10 deficit really is. Presumably the Budget will have to tell the truth……won’t it?

    And then there is the growth assumptions underlying the 2010/11 forecasts !!!!

    We are in for some very rough medicine after the GE I fear.
    It is beyond me what the GB pledges are supposed to mean against this background.

    I mean-“•Protecting future jobs” ?

    The public sector payroll has to be trimmed-everyone knows it. We cannot go on shedding private sector jobs & increasing the state payroll, whilst increasing the disparity in pay between these two sectors.

    Ultimately it is the private sector workforce who will lift us back to growth.

    If GB goes into the campaign saying-or implying- he will “protect” the public sector & Cons will not, I think the Press will swing back towards Cons again.

    Cons had good press support as “investment v cuts” began to unravel-but since Darling came clean it has shifted back to Labour I feel-ably assisted by some Tory cock-ups..

    I just sense that this latest positive phase for Labour is stalling. GB needs great care in how he plays things now.
    Cameron has put some good & well received policy statements out. He just needs to stop the stupid mistakes & avoid ridiculous image spinning.

  15. Mark Senior

    Only a complete cynic would suggest that the provision of apparently dodgy data to the Scottish Sun, and YouGov signing a contract with News International were anything other than wholly coincidental events.

  16. @Amber Star – “Credit markets flash hottest warning signal since crisis” – Telegraph, 16th Feb. The withdrawal of corporate bond issues has been caused by higher risk premiums rather than market saturation, and in Germany there is concern about credit downgrades once 2009 corporate results are published. There are continued falls in lending to UK businesses, and over the next 12 – 18 months there are going to be some significant issues around UK commercial property holdings. Banks hold notional assets of around £200b which they still show on their books, but only because they haven’t called in the debts, so they have left the massive shortfalls with the borrowers and auditors have signed off their accounts as creditworthy. Once these loans reach maturity the banks won’t be able to hide them. Its a mess, and if there isn’t a sharp upturn in the general economy lots of these issues will start to appear. If commercial credit continues to restrict we could see everything unravelling.

  17. @colin – agree with much of what you say, but ultimately the deteriorating position means notions of quickly reducing the deficit could be disastrous. It may well be that the one thing that stands between us and total economic disaster will be a ballooning public deficit. We ended the war with debts of 800% of GDP and got through that OK. Not ideal though.

  18. Surprising that Anthony hasn’t started a new thread on the AR poll.

  19. @ALEC……….We ended the war with debts of 800% of GDP. I remember, I also remember rationing and serious hatch battening. Would the public tolerate an austerity package? At least it would solve the obesity crisis,, and of course walking more would make us fitter, ‘ang on, I’m quite looking forward to it ! Ah, the good old days, outside lav’.,no shoes, smog, bring it on!

  20. I’ve previously mentioned my rule of thumb about the effect of disaggregating the E&W numbers from a GB poll – Add 2% to the Tories, deduct 1% from Labour.

    It’s worked again on the latest AR poll.

    E&W only – Con 42% : Lab 25% : LD 19%

  21. The AR Strategies poll on P Betting is 40/28/18

    I have done the calculations UNS and Andy Cookes Marginals table and I get a Tory Majority of 148!

  22. Sorry meant 40/26/18 above
    Still gives Tory majority of 148!

  23. Wayne

    You have mistyped.

    The AR numbers for GB are 40/26/18.

  24. Alec,

    You are right to flag up that Lab needed a run of good economic news. Sadly (for the country – you know I don’t care about what happens to Labour) the more recent financial news has been less than brilliant. As Colin points out, things are actually getting a bit rocky overseas – not just in the EU but in Asia too.

    Personally, I don’t think the public are sufficiently interested in the world economy for this to suddenly cause a big swing back to Cons, but the prospects of Lab crawling back up to the mid 30s, never mind overtaking Cons, have diminished.

    There are two big economic events which will grab UK voter attenion still to come before 6th May. The second will be Q1 GDP figures on 23 April. The prospects for strong growth are not good and this could show us slipping back into recession. The other is the budget. – probably on 24th March.

    This will produce more tension between Brown and Darling than it will between Darling and Osborne. It is Darling’s last chance to salvage his personal reputation before the ship goes down. Today’s FT article about his direction over-ruling Treasury officials on RBS Toxic assets will not have helped him.

    If it is evident that he will not be around to implement it, why should Darling put his name to a work of fiction. Far better to put out a sober (even if painful) statement of affairs as they really are, with some indicators of where the axe could fall while doing the least damage. That would enable Osborne to use it as a basis for his own mini-budget in late May / early June. There is merit for the country in this. A fantasy budget on the other hand would mean Osborne having to start from scratch, which would inevitably delay his budget to late June or even early July. Can the country afford that kind of delay with the rating agencies and gilt markets waiting to see how credible the deficit reduction plan is before adding their own pain ?

    A lot depends on who wins the power struggle in Downing Street. A Brown budget would surely signal the death knell for Labour – and personal defeat for Darling. A more realistic budegt would not only salvage some Lab MPs, it would actually help the country economically since the markets would feel that a more sensibly led Lab party could work constructively with teh new government in bringing in the savings required to fix the public finances.

    The big question must surely be, will Mandy put Party before Country – or vice versa ?

  25. A very nasty slanging match is developing between Greece & Germany-resurecting WW2 stuff!

    This is the last thing the markets want from the EU.

    The Darling RBS “direction” is only the second time since 1997 that a senior civil servant has felt the need to request one.

    The Dubious & Doubtful Debt problem is still there – creating political strains everywhere.

  26. Hi – all, just got back in from a meeting.

    Oldnat – Regarding the Yougov Scottish figures in the Sun, I have no idea, I’ve not been into the office at all today.

    If the Sun themselves have aggregated the Scottish cross-breaks from several polls to make their own Scottish break it won’t be properly represenative. If, on the other hand, it’s been stuck together by Yougov and properly reweighted to Scottish targets it should be fine.

  27. Anthony


    I’ll look forward to YouGov posting the tables for the Scottish Sun – since I presume the Sun don’t have access to “extra Scottish respondents from earlier unpublished polls”.

  28. still not see a post re: ANGUS READ POLL FOR POLITICAL BETTING. come on AW get one up, and it has taken a while but this poll is still not in your list of polls which it should be.

  29. @Paul HJ – a thoughtful post. For the UK much depended on the ability to export out of recession. The year seems to have started well in this regard and I would still expect growth in Q”, possibly at quite a reasonable rate, but unless the Euro zone and US start to motor we won’t benefit from the sterling devaluation and growth will stagnate. It’s this that is the big worry.

  30. stuart gregory

    I’m sure that if you offer to pay Anthony a good salary to wait around to post a new thread when you want it – he’d give it consideration. :-)

  31. Just an observation but I thought this was a non partisan site! I wonder if the Tory Advert re Death Tax at the head of the page will soon be replaced with the Labour advert ‘Two Faces of Cameron’ one soon and maybe a Lib dem one too :)

  32. WMA 39:29:19. The trend over the last 78 days is stil down but less convincing (R2=.43) : the 1-month WMA trend is also down (R2=.42) but the 2 week WMA trend is now up (R2=.74) .

    Too early to be sure, but I suspect that people are really making up their minds that they want a change. The latest dire PSBR figures should also make it obvious to everyone that the claim to “economic competence” is shot to pieces.

  33. Richard

    Depends where you’re posting from. I’m currently getting an ad for TAROT ONLINE, which seems entirely appropriate.

  34. “I think it’s pretty insulting to say that people vote Labour just because of tribalism”

    … hate away Mr Cornish but its true.

    The BBC have had Nick Robinson travelling round with a ballot box and people in pubs clubs in labour areas were quite distinctly baring their tribalism and saying they would always vote labour.

    And if you are going to vote labour because you think they are doing good for the country well … (comments self censored because they break house rules)

  35. Richard – I sincerely hope so, hosting costs don’t come cheap! Come on you Labour and Lib Dem media buyers!

    Brownedov, I’ve never seen that – you must have a weird and wonderful IP address.

  36. And if you are going to vote Tory/LibDem/ BNP/UKIP/TDNP etc because you think they are doing good for the country well … (comments self censored because they break house rules)

    Seems that insults are OK here now.

  37. @Collin and Jack Cornish

    I love the house on fire analogies.Just in the spirit of humour, and strictly in a non-partisan spirit, I offer this, expanded from the earlier comments:

    Tories – they might put out the fire but they would also knock down a couple of walls in the process and sell off my conservatory whilst I’m not looking!

    Labour – would fill their hoses with petrol while saying it was the only possible solution.

    Liberals – would have a wise elder giving sensible-sounding advice to the media while the others watched it burn.

    UKIP – would put the fire out and then withdraw from the residents association (not necessarily in that order)

    Greens – would do a rain dance, and then blame global warming when nothing happened.

    BNP – would watch it burn down and then put up KEEP OUT notices all round the plot.

    SNP – would save just the conservatory

    Plaid – would save the outside lavvy

    Various Irish Republican – would blow it up

    Various Irish unionist – would watch it burn while demanding to stay part of the house next door

  38. Anthony,

    I’m currently posting from the Iberian peninsula and now have a different fortune-telling ad instead.

  39. @Pete B:

    I guess if you make jokes at the expense of all parties that’s non-partisan too right?

  40. “YouGov also asked whether the expenses scandal made people more or less likely to vote. I’ve seen people speculate in both directions on this question, will it make people more dissillusioned and less likely to vote, or will anger make people more likely to vote? YouGov found 14% saying it would make them more likely, 12% less likely.”

    I think that means they’re more likely to vote in constituencies where they really want to get rid of a particular MP or party of a retiring MP; and less likely where the incumbent is less “ireworthy”.

    Everything I’ve seen makes 2010 look like a pretty rough year ahead with many of the trends that matter going in the “wrong” direction.
    It’s got a feel of fingers in the dyke; a sense of inevitability.

    The debt can’t be magicked away, so inflation is the lesser evil. This is the naughty end of globalisation, where import dependence transforms from a cost saving to a logistic dependence – could consumers even afford to “buy British”?

    The prospect of chronic unemployment and underemployment (wage and hours reductions) could really rot the already rotten bad debts in the guts of rescued banks.
    Banks are in a catch-22: they can’t lend until interest rates rise; but if rates rise they have to pay more on their assets, and then have less for new lending – but how can they lend when unemployment is going up; when the housing p2e is at such peak; when oil and primary resources are under pressure from feeding the Chinese machine; and when the pound’s in trouble such that uk import-dependence becomes a real problem?
    They’re ditching loans for cash in anticipation of interest rates having to go up to cover the costs.. but rates have to go up to enable banks and all species of savers to turn a profit – you can’t continue this charade of interest only buy to let mortgages and the like, it’s just going to get us into a longer mess.
    Rates have got to get high… the sooner the better… force the government to sieze the crash to rebuild council housing stock and taking the longer-term pressure off demand for mortgages.

    That’s why I say a catch 22… you can’t raise rates without throwing the housing market into an avalanche of defaults and price crash; but you can’t get banks to make money and pay off the bailout without raising rates… Darling is leaving this bitter pill for the Tories to swallow, in the hope that Labour can turn to the electorate and say “Look! Told yer so!” and make a comeback in 5 years’ time.

    I don’t think the public appreciate the real horror of chronic stagflation; and I don’t see any government surviving it… even with the olympics in the middle of it to milk.
    Think of all that credit card debt the rate hike would hit… it could get pretty ugly, and be meat and wine for the Bob Crows of this world.
    We might get a one-term limping Tory government; god knows what after that… maybe a red white and blue government…

  41. Peter Cairns

    “Most people think that most MP’s are of touch money grabbers who are out for themselves, but a minority think that of their own MP.”

    In any constituency more people voted for the sitting MP than for any other candidate. Naturally, they take a closer interest in the person they voted for (or against) and form their opinion at least partly on local issues. Ife happens to be a minister they may take an interest in what he does as a minister, even though they are unaffected by issues of that sort.

    That’s why I think that the MSP for Edinburgh East and Musselburgh will increase his majority even if Megrahi is still alive n 2011.

  42. Colin:

    “He [Cameron] just needs to stop the stupid mistakes & avoid ridiculous image spinning.”

    There is no prospect of either happening.

    .It is not in his power to stop the stupid mistakes. All he can do is hope that his opponents make more and worse stupid mistakes.

    As for ridiculous image spinning, what do you expect from a man whose occupation was PR and thinks of himself as “heir to Blair” ?

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