There are two discussion threads for the new poll – please keep partisan arguments, whoops of delight and furious rants of despair to this one. Sensible non-partisan discussion of the poll is welcomed in the main thread :)

251 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times poll open thread”

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  1. @JACK

    Agree same ones.

    The school where my wife works advertised for a diner lady ( or schools meals supervisory assistent) and they got a grand total of 0 applicants for the £8 and hour job……Job centre then sent 10 people, only 1 turend up, although to be fair 5 or 6 had food poisoning. The one who truned up wanted at least £10 an hour.

    In the end one of the teaching assitents took on the role.

    The point is it should never be an option to not work or contribute.

  2. Grumpy Old Man –

    Before making bonkers accusations at least get your basic facts right. Peter Kellner doesn’t own Yougov, it is a listed company. The two major shareholders are Stephan Shakespeare, a former Conservative parliamentary candidate and Nadhim Zahawi, the Conservative PPC for Stratford on Avon. Peter was once Chairman, but stepped down several years ago.

    The recent change in splitting YouGov’s Labour identifiers into those who were loyal in 2005 and those who were not made no difference whatsoever to party support (we back tested three weeks worth of data). The shift in sampling look place last autumn.

  3. SimonK and Jack – Stop Press but in some ways I DO agree with you. And I’m one of the LAB posters on here.

    I grew up on a council estate and there ARE certainly some who don’t want to work, don’t work and cheat the system.

    There always have been (I grew up in the 70s/80) and it’s naive to think we’ll ever change it completely.

    What has happened under Labour is that tax credits and free nursery places for three year olds have allowed many more people who WANTED to work to do so. They now find it pays to work rather than stay home.

    Now this is the nitty gritty of the “social mobility” argument. Yes, those who WANT to get on have done, single Mums in particular have received a lot of help, but there is certainly now a hardcore underclass who are packing some of the worst estates WITHOUT the mitigation of more ambitious, socially responsible neighbours to learn from. Simply put, the good have moved out and the bad have got worse.

    SimonK – As you will know as well as I do, generation after generation of this underclass learn and pass it on. So the question is HOW do you break the cycle?? HOW do you change things? HOW do you explain to a 16 year old girl with no support at home, no books in the house, never watched the news, no ambition, who’s been bought up in a mindset of failure that there is more out there for her? Is it really her fault if she repeats the failures of her family?

    Personally I think this is the thorniest question facing ANY government and anyone who thinks it’s easily addressed is kidding themselves.

    Knife crime, gun crime, drugs, anti-social behaviour, teenage pregnancy, high benefit claims, obesity, underage drinking and smoking all increase in areas with no hope, no ambition, no social responsibility, no sense of community.

    IMO tackle the estates and you tackle most of the other problems, but really GET IN THERE. Knock down the horrible blocks, build homes they can love, start REAL outreach programmes, sport clubs for children, training for young men and women, a nice shop or two everyone can use, a good park with nice equipment. Don’t just build a nasty little “youth club”, walk away and wait for it to close two years later.

    THEN, if you do all of the above and someone abuses it, I agree, be tough.

  4. There endeth the lesson from me!!!

    If GB really wanted a radical agenda after the election, that would be it. And THINK how much money he would save on benefits????

  5. Sue:

    Well said.

  6. @Sue Marsh

    I agree, solve the problem of the estates and solve a lot of society problems.

    We would disagree on the method.

    Interstingly , well for me anyway, my mam works a lot with people in the estates and she has drifted further and further right as she done more work in the area.

    The problem is the children (and there are a lot of them as this maximises benifits ) don’t have a chance. They are tought from an early age that qhool has no vaue and how to play the system.

    It’s breaking this link with the parents that we would probably disagree on.

    I am all for inveting in facilities, trained staff etc.

    But from what I and my mam have seen, its about accountability, people need to be held accountabile for there actions. If little Jimmy throws a stone at a passing car and the moterists stop and chastises the child, only to be asualted by the parents. The parents must be held accountable for the actions of their children until they are 16/18.

    I would also only allow child allowance for the first 2 children, means test the third and after that if you can’t afford them, don’t have them.

    No automatic rights to council proeprty based on family size. E.g. knocking 2 houses into 1 to make a hous big enough for a family of 9 kids, with no one in the family officially working shoudl stop…

    And the other blight, is drugs. Not only usage but the infitration of outreach projects and youth clubs by drug dealers.

    Agree on the problem , the solution is a lot more difficult. But ultimatly reaching the kids away from teh parents is the key.

    To others if you haven’t lived and worked with these people it is an experiance which will change your outlook forever.

  7. Perhaps people wondering who to vote for and who to blame and who to trust to get us out of our deep deep mess should look at this report from the BBC

    “At least 25,000 council jobs in England will be under threat in the next three to five years”
    “one expert said the number of job losses could reach 100,000, while one union warned of “social disharmony”. ”

    “Tony Travers of the London School of Economics said: “Nothing like this has happened for a generation.”
    Children reading in a library
    He believed 25,000 job losses in England was a cautious forecast. ”

    These are the results of Labour cuts, as published in the PBR.
    Labour disingenuously talk of eficiency savings but efficiency means doing more with less.

    Faced with the harsh reality of what eradicating Browns structural deficit means – well, only a fool would believe that somehow all will be sweetness and light with Labour but equivalent to the passage of the angel of death under the Tories.

  8. @AW

    on the Andrew Marr show it was said that you gov’s first published figures showed a 7 point tory lead then they re-published showing a 2 point lead. Can you shed some light on this?

  9. @Sue Marsh & SimonK

    I think there is a great risk of overestimating the impact of welfare scroungers on council estates. I was brought up on a council estate in the North East & some of my relatives & friends still live there. All of them work. We all know about welfare scroungers & I knew such people in the 1960s, so it’s hardly a new problem. But to tar all council house tenants with the same brush is frankly insulting.

    Welfare scroungers is a problem that needs tackling, but it’s not nearly as important as getting the economy back on track.

  10. @ Derek Pierson – Did you bother to read the posts?

    Both of us grew up on council estates and both of us were far from tarring all with the same brush.

  11. @SUE MARSH………….Quick fix for the underclass…….free champagne…..get ’em hooked, provide free training in financial analysis, show ’em some good watering holes in the City, job done. It used to be called social engineering, we need to bring it up to date, Jordan could front it up, they’d listen to her.

  12. …oh what a simply awful prospect, 5 more years of this bankrupt, misdirected, sad old tired government…please lets have a change before what remains of our enterprising culture gets drowned in yet more idiotic social engineering and burocracy !!

  13. Can I add mine to the game if it isn’t too late?
    If it is , can you add it to the next one. Thank you
    Con 38%
    La 34%
    Lib 21%

    And it will be no overall controll but Lab/Lib coalition
    David cameron will be replaced within one month by Jeremy Hunt. You heard it here

  14. In fact I feel more agreived about the people who are working but still manage to claim disability allownace converting into a car for someone who lives 200 miles away and they never see, who are both earning, and joint earnings are enoguh for a large 4 bedroom house.

    These are worse because they haev more than most but get gready……

    Or the people I know who can calim carers allowance for each other ! how can a couple be each otheres carers ?

    Or the chap and his wife who both work and they earn at least 50K between them who can claim disability for their autistic child. Every sympathy with thier child, but they get money off the state as its non means tested.

    Its the culture of dependance that needs to change. the tax system with tax credits, non means tested benfits and slide in personal ethical values that needs to be stopped.

    You see the background makes no differance, in fact its worse that the cases I mention subsidise a lifestyle choice through the benifit system.

    My original point remains that the beifit system should be a safety net and not a lifestyle choice. Regardless of background.

  15. Don’t-tell-em-Pike –

    I can again :) The figures were a 2 point lead from the beginning, there was never any change.

    The Sunday Times delayed the release of the figures until after midnight to protect their exclusive. They may have put out a fake front page before that which repeated the figures from the week before, I don’t know – I certainly never saw it.

  16. Amber

    Ashcroft has come clean as being a non-dom. Does that mean his millions to local con parties is legal?

    It’s still as clear as mud ;-) still it looks like there is diminishing returns for the investment if Tory support is also falling in the marginals, which undoubtly it must be if the polls are closing.

    If there is doubt at the legitimisy of donations, I would suggest suspending any furhter amounts until it is defined one way or other.

  17. @Sue Marsh

    Anyone who says “solve the problem of the estates..” is tarring all council estate residents with the same brush, whatever soft words have gone before.

  18. @ Sue Marsh and SimonK

    Thank you for sharing your hugely different political perspectives on the problem of non-working, welfare- dependent people and the destinies of their children, and what could and/or should be done about this problem.

    I think that you illustrate better than most of the politicians and the media the main contrasting political philosophies. And maybe of the personality types associated with people who identify with each main philosophy, as Nicholas Krystof recently wrote in the New York Times:

    Research described here by Krystof, that makes the connections between conservative and threatened/vulnerable, compared with left liberal and confident/less authoritarian, has been building up for a number of years. Views, anybody?

  19. @Wolf MacNeill

    that was an interesting read and I wouldn’t disagree with much of whats said….

    I am a conservative with a small c. I am slightly right of centre, but will acknowledge all ideas if they are good ones.

    but I have a fundamental philosophy that is :

    You should help people to help themselves not be dependent on others. The state should provide a safety net only. I beleive in personal liberty and the rule of law for the benifit of society as long as it does not interfer with other people rights or liberties. People who breach another individuals rights or liberties should forfit their own. All opinions are valid and should be listened to as they are opions no one is wrong or right.

    I believe that people have a duty to be responsible citzens and work towards the betterment of society.

    I beleive that if I work hard then I should be rewarded. My tax should not be spent subsidisng other peoples life styles.

    i beleive in personal responsibility and with that accountability.

    So what does that make me…..? besides an idiot ( as my daughters call me )

  20. I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t spell hehe

    AW am I allowed to give myself a more original name than my boring Steve A?

    I would like to have something like Dashing Prince.

    Can I add my name to a popular vote on the weekly prediction of the election result.

    Do I have to go somewhere or do you take it from here?

  21. Further to my previous post about what voters and opinion poll respondent ought to know –

    The FT has the following headline …

    ‘Gilts lose triple A lustre for investors’
    “British government debt is already trading at prices that suggest it has lost its prized top credit rating, heightening concerns that investors already view gilts as less than triple?A-rated assets and demand greater rewards for holding them.”
    “Since the end of November, the gap between the interest rate Britain and Germany must pay on 10-year government debt has risen from 0.35 percentage points to 0.9 points.”
    “Dave Ramsden, chief economic adviser to the Treasury, told MPs in December: “It is generally thought that the rating agencies generally follow rather than lead the markets, so in that sense when a country sees a change to its sovereign rating it is usually the case that that is already priced into the market.””
    “the big credit ratings agencies … have each indicated that faster action to reduce borrowing is needed for Britain to retain its triple?A-rated status.”

    The Telegraph for one is also pointing out …
    “Pound suffers sharpest fall in more than a year as prospect of hung parliament looms”

  22. AL J Yes it is legal. Pre GE it would probably cost Labour more than the Tories in lost donations if non doms were banned from donating to political parties.

    History Boy (PBC) has a box-ticking exercise for Labour supporters:-

    Is it legal to be a non-dom YES/NO
    Is it legal for a non-dom to contribute to a party YES/NO
    Is it legal for a non-dom to sit in the House of Lords YES/NO
    Is it legal for a non-dom to be a Privy Counsellor YES/NO

    It the answer to all these is YES, blame Labour. They’ve been in power for 13 years.
    by History Boy


    Some interesting points about claimants and estates, but I was wondering if you or anyone else could explain to me something I’ve never understood about how these communities are run.

    As someone who has lived and worked with depression for most of their adult life I’ve always been amazed that people are able to claim disability for such things. There are very, very few people who are actually unable to do at least some work so I’m always appalled at the idea of people receiving money for doing nothing at all.

    Why is it that people in these communities, especially long-term claimants, are not forced to work for their benefits? As someone from a middle class background in the south east I have to plead ignorance about large council estates, but it always seemed to me this would kill several birds with one stone. They would only have to do a couple of hours each day working on community projects, community beautification or assisting with younger members of the community.

    For the claimants it would give them a sense of purpose, teach them some transferable skills to take to the workplace and provide them with something to do. For the young it would provide good role models, a good message about working for a living, provide them with facilities for activities and help them to gain a sense of community and purpose. For the community at large it would keep a number of people occupied who would otherwise be loitering around, could see some nice gardens spring up and graffiti removed and provide a better sense of community being brought together.

    I don’t see why anyone should be able to receive something for nothing and from what I can tell these communities could do with the boost. It could also help with issues like integration if people are forced to work with others from other backgrounds. It wouldn’t cost anything as they’d simply be getting paid their benefits.

    There must be some significant problem I don’t see here which is why nothing like this happens, but can someone explain to me what that is? I can’t for the life of me see what it is.

  24. Of course you could argue that the reason for the currency crisis in the Euro is that it’s overvalued and tradin at too high a level. I think its good that the pound can find its own level. Well done Gordon for keeping us out!
    What about you posters on the Right. Would you like us to be in the Euro?

  25. Apparently Ashcroft saves £12 million a year in taxes by being a non -dom and he has £1.1 billion

    No wonder he’s got a desk at Con HQ

  26. @VALERIE……….errrmmm..’ang on, I’ll ask the Labour chap, what’s his name? Oh yes. Baron Lord Mandleson.

  27. Peter will do ;-)

  28. @AL J……………..Oooooh !! You are awful……but I like you !!

  29. I would like to suggest that some of the mindless cretins who write on this “open thread” discussion go and live on an estate for three to six months. I have just retired after 11 years as Vicar on one of the largest estates in South Yorkshire. I loved most of the time there and was at the heart of working for the social, economic and spiritual regeneration of the area. There are some major problems, but to stigmatise and stereotype people who live there is patronising and exteremely insulting.
    There are stories of amazing courage and creativity. There are miracles in the schools where self esteem is built up and where hope emerges. No, its not all good news but neither is it all doom and gloom by any means.
    To say that only the benefit scoungers and the thick (stupid) vote Labour is again degrading and insulting for anyone with half a brain. Having worked on regeneration issues for many years, the range of initiatives has been impressive, Sure Start, being the most well known and one of the most successful. But there have been many more successes.
    Only Ian Duncan Smith in the Tory Party seems to be in the real world and some of his ideas do almost look revolutionary for that party. But I wonder how many of the initiatives will see the light of day?
    For God’s sake stop knocking the estates and those who live on them and blame our culture that says “You are what you have” or “You are where you live” and if you haven’t bought the right rubbish or live in the right place – you’re useless.
    It’s the rich beggars that we need to feel sorry for – the only thing they have in life is money. No pockets in a shroud.
    I’m going to set up a “Make sure you vote party”.
    CAMRA Member – Just enjoyed a pint of Absolution (Abbeydale Brewery).

  30. Re Mr Ashcroft:

    Just think of it as rather like the banks… the British Taxpayer bails out the Tory Party…perhaps if they win we can all be given a share in his companies like they propose to do with the banks….

  31. I see the pound did badly today. Down 3 cents on the US dollar and 1 cent on the Euro. Markets spooked by the prospect of a hung Parliament.

  32. I think there’s a ComRes poll tonight !! Where did I see it ?-been reading too much.

    Should give us an idea if the 2% lead was a fluke!!

    @Ken behave ;-)

  33. @STEVIE G……………Vicar, your language!! Too much amber nectar methinks. Lovely thought, have you got an old sit-up-and- beg, bike ? Off you go then ! By the way, my shroud will have pockets, just in case. :-)

  34. Al J – I think Anthony said it’ll be out to-morrow night and in Wednesday’s paper.

    But I might have got it wrong again Dad.

    Dick Emery did a very good scrounger inter alia

  35. @Stevie G

    I too have seen many of the examples of great stories from these estates.

    A great number of people who live in these estates, and they are not a majority of the people, are a cause of a lot of social problems, from drugs to crime.

    Myself, when I recruit junior staff I look very kindly on young people who come from bad backgrounds and need a chance.

    I have only once been let down.

    non of us are saying that everyone is at fault but there is a congragation of poverty, but also some people choose that lifestyle…

    Oh and yes I can’t spell, I have never been able to spell. Luckily I have other talents.

  36. @JOHN T T …….I saw him once at Waterloo, he caught my eye and did his little trip up, waltzed off with a big grin on his face.

  37. @ SimonK

    Interesting response, thank you. I don’t know where that places you, though a little ad appears on this site from time to time, with half a dozen questions whose answers position you on the political spectrum. It worked for me.

    You said: ‘You should help people to help themselves not be dependent on others’. Like you, I want to help to create a society where individuals are able to achieve their fullest potential. But, even in such a society, probably especially in such a society, people ARE dependent on others, whether in the front line in Helmand, or fetching in the milk for a sick neighbour, or being looked after when unemployed, or attending brilliant schools, or having the bins emptied.

    A central issue for me – which seems to be very politically divisive here in the UK – is the extent to which we share our dependencies through democratically organising our efforts via society: locally, regionally, nationally, internationally.

    Correspondingly critical are the accountability of those who take on the responsibilities (elected authorities and their officials – not nearly transparent and accountable enough in my opinion), AND those who receive the benefits (all of us to a varying extent), AND those who pay for them (taxpayers – agaiin, all of us to a varying extent).

    Abuse of any of society’s goods should be as unacceptable as the abuse of individuals’ rights or property, and we should take as harsh a view of tax dodging (including ‘paying cash’ to avoid VAT) as we do of other forms of theft, including welfare abuse.

    That, along with the way they get criminals to repay their dues to society, and rehabilitate them, rather than simply punish them, are Swedish paths I certainly would follow, rather than DC’s promise of yet another re-disorganisation of our schools, when what the schools need, above all, are sufficient resources (including leadership) to help all kids to realise their potential, with a special helping hand to those kids from the most dire social circumstances.

  38. John TT – tonight I expect

  39. @Wolf Macneill

    I agree with almost everything you say, i help people around me and I give to society where I can.

    I think that the overarching theme of my life has been what my gran taught me “treat others as you would be treated yourself” and you can’t go far wrong.

    To me this country has lost the belief in responsibility and accoutnability.

    I think the whole of the responsibility/accountability thing has been summed up to me recently by teh John terry / Wayne bridge thing. Bascially, becasue people and even politiicans are coming out and defending john terry and some even having a go at Wayne bridge.

    Now that kind of sums our society up.

  40. @Ken

    I thought that my language was quite moderate, considering. A Psalmist suggested that the poor would be lifted from the dung heap, literally from the pile of sh _ _ ! that they’re in.


    I agree that that there is a minority that abuse the system and are involved in ant-social behaviour, but there’s a tendency to paint estates, especially by the media, as places of hell, drugs, debt, dependency etc. But the vast majority try their utmost to progress, often against incredible barriers. And local community organizations, made up of ordinary “heroes and heroines”, are trying to make their communities better places in which to live.

    Local people taking responsibility in their communities is far more likely to bring results than endless local government initiatives that are mostly short term ones. Community development is one area in which this government – nationally and locally – has failed and it is relatively small amounts of money to support community development that is really needed.

    Many, many people on the estates feel abandoned and forgotten and that’s where support of BNP and other marginal parties will grow, but alas the majority of people on the estates will not vote and that’s the real danger.

  41. I hope that everyone that votes for labour gets made redundant and then see’s the interest rates on their mortgage rise to a level that they cannot afford so they get reposesed due to Britian losing it’s AAA credit rating under labour. Then when the recovery finally starts I hope that their job gets given to an immigrant brought in by labour to win them votes. Then I hope that immigrant gets the council house instead of them as this is the usual labour practice. Look after the immigrants and they will look after you at election time. But saying all this most labour voters are already unemployed scroungers and immigrants so no wonder labour have got a chance of winning the election it is because there are so many scroungers and immigrants. Shame on anyone voting Labour you deserve all the pain that you get and I hope it is a lot. Rant over.

  42. That means two polls tonight – can’t wait.

    Will they deflate me – so I’m a lump on the floor or send me into outer-space?

    no snide remarks – Ken. thanks

  43. @AL J………………..Bloody hell man ! Get a grip ! You have a standard to uphold………don’t lose it now after all your good work, think of us. :-)

  44. @Ken lol ;-)

    There’s interesting news filtering through twitter – no figures

    but I can’t give anything away.

    That’s Anthony’s perogative

  45. So how many other people are deliberately misleading the pollsters, apart from me? Go for it Dave, you have nothing to fear.

  46. Daily YouGov poll in the Sun. Normal service resumed: Con 39 Lab 32 LDem 17. So it was a rogue poll. Pollsters creating mischief interviewing too many Scots and Northerners.

  47. @Christopher and Richard

    as my comments responding to you on the other page were blocked.

    Here are list of non doms from 2001

    Sir Richard Cohen a non dom giving to labour isn’t talked about nearly as much as Lord Ashcroft.

    Labour in the guardian spreedsheet has recieved more than tories from non doms.

    And to hear labour’s self rightousness about ashcroft from jack straw is so hypocritical it is beyond belief.

  48. Sir Ronald Cohen is a non dom and has donated 2.55 million to labour.

    Cohen is dodging claims about his tax status. The independent isn’t calling on brown to clear up his status or blaming him for letting it go on so long.

    Tories are the ones who would change the laws while labour in power benefited and didn’t change the laws.

    The media is so lock step with labour it is sickening.

    Guardian, independent they just pound and pound the tories and give a free ride to this government of 13 years and they show their utter hypocrisy.

  49. Sir Ronald Cohen, appointed by Brown as chancellor to chair the Social Investment Taskforce, has donated £2.55m to Labour. He declines to discuss his tax affairs, according to the Tories. When asked about his tax status by the Daily Telegraph in 2009, his spokesman said this was “out of bounds”.

    Independent is headlining a story on their site going after cameron for not dealing with this years ago.

    Will they ask Brown to clarify Cohen’s status who has given a lot of money to Labour recently? The media was obsessed about Ashcroft’s status. The press would never be so hypocritical. Will the Independent go after Brown for being in power and benefiting from Cohen and not dealing with this years ago?

    Labour has been in power for 13 years and hasn’t changed the law to bar lords from being non doms. Yet the tories are willing to change the law right away. Will Brown be asked questions about Lord Paul?

  50. Well researched Jason

    As you say no one is listening-the silent hypocricy is deafening.

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