As far as I can see from their website the Sunday Times only reported the Labour leadership figures from their YouGov poll this weekend. The whole poll is now up on YouGov’s website here Topline voting intention figures with changes from last week are CON 39%(+2), LAB 32%(-2), LDEM 21%(nc).

David Cameron’s approval rating as Prime Minister is still in honeymoon mode at +42, Nick Clegg’s approval rating is similar at +44. 63% think the coalition partners are working well together.

YouGov asked people if they supported or opposed a series of policies put foward by the coalition. Most popular was an annual limit on immigration from non-EU countries (supported by 81%), followed by scrapping ID cards (63%), banning cheap alcohol from supermarkets (56%) and removing peoples DNA from the national database if they are not convicted (54%). A plurality of people also supported the immediate £6 bn in spending cuts (by 43% to 34%).

The most unpopular policy was the expected rise in VAT to 20%, opposed by 66% of respondents. A majority (61%) also opposed reducing the number of CCTV cameras and a plurality opposed the part privatisation of the Royal Mail (by 47% to 33%). While asked in isolation the VAT rise was very unpopular, YouGov also asked if they would prefer the rise in VAT or large cuts in public spending – in that context 46% of people prefered the VAT, 38% the larger spending cuts.

On the Labour leadership David Miliband remains the clear frontrunner, with 23% naming him as the person they think would make the best leader. Somewhat surprisingly Diane Abbott is in second place on 9%, followed by 8% for Ed Miliband. Diane Abbot’s popularity though is much higher amongst Conservative and Lib Dem supporters – amongst Labour’s own supporters she is in fourth place behind David Miliband (34%), Ed Miliband (13%) and Ed Balls (10%). As I warned last week though, leadership preference questions are this stage are largely name recognition.

Asked who would be the WORST leader, Ed Balls is top with 21%, followed by Diane Abbott on 18%. Amongst Labour’s current supporters Diane Abbott is seen as the worst candidate on 22%, followed by Balls on 13%.

Moving on, YouGov asked about the BA strike and who was most to blame. They found 32% of people blamed the Trade Union, 20% the BA management and 38% both of them. YouGov also asked if various groups should be allowed to strike – there were three groups where a majority thought they should not be able to strike – for both the army and the police 22% thought they should be able to, 69% thought they should not. For NHS staff 36% thought they should be allowed to stike, 55% thought they should not. A plurality also thought energy distribution workers shouldn’t be able to. For the other professions YouGov asked about people thought a majority should be able to strike, including 61% who thought airline workers should be able to.

240 Responses to “More from the YouGov/Sunday Times poll”

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  1. Apologies if this has been suggested before,but in your VI list that appears on the right hand side, should you not include the actual result? I could not see it there.

  2. CON 39%(+2), LAB 32%(-2), LDEM 21%(nc).

    It’s funny how you can have a game-changing election campaign, a general election, a change of labour leader, and a seismic change in the way the country is governed, and still 40/30/20 seems like a reasonable prediction for any election result.

    Things change but nothing varies much.

  3. Don’t mind me – not really, it’s the latest polls. Once there are 20 polls for this parliament it will drop off the bottom anyway and I’ll remove all the polls from the 2005-2010 Parliament from the voting intention page and stash them here.

  4. I wonder whether a poll on whether very rich people can really understand the needs of ordinary people when it comes to cutting public services is either possiblr or likely;–Lib-Dems-just-wealthy-Tories.

  5. Anthony

    Please stop putting me into moderation when I am certainly not being directly partisan, abusive or anything else!

    [DB – I replied to your earlier comment, all posts with links get automatically held back for moderation! – AW]

  6. That poll would have given the Tories more seats than election night! Looks like they are back to where they were a few months ago – in the high 30s. Not sure if polls really mean much though, apart from being a tiny bit interesting about how things are going. ;)

  7. @DavidB – you’ve clearly done something to upset the Gods. Don’t complain – we’ve all been there at some time or other. Just work your time in Purgatory and in due course AW will relent and release your soul into the real world again. Raging against the perceived iniquity of it all doesn’t help.

    @Shopkeeper Man – you’re right. Many people said the campaign wouldn’t change very much, and it seems they were broadly correct. But wasn’t it half fun?

  8. As a Tory voter, I fully expect the Tory support to fall, especially when the bulk of the cuts are revealed later this year/next year. However, to be doing so well in the polls at this stage, is an encouraging sign. ;)

  9. The high level of support for Diane Abbot seems to be Tories and Lib Dems supporting the least electable leader for Labour. Funny but very naughty :)

  10. “YouGov asked about the BA strike and who was most to blame. They found 32% of people blamed the Trade Union, 20% the BA management and 38% both of them.”

    this is much better figures for UNITe and the workers than St Patricks day poll back in mid-march.

    Clearly opinion is now much more evenly divided, allbiet still in favour of management.

    Interesting to see how the three five-day strikes pan out

    39/32/21 suggests that if anyone is likely to suffer from the coaltiion it will be more yellwo than blue

    afterall, yellow get lots of exposure now :)

  11. @ Eoin

    That would be that Lab down 2
    Lib Dem no change
    type of suffering then ?

    My apologies for cutting and running but I’m going home now

  12. Anthony,

    Have YouGov now suspended the methodological change that, on occasion, had the effect of increasing Blues by 1% (and on occasion yellows down by 1%). It was Likliehood to vote wasn’t it? SInce we are back out of campaign I wondered if you have reverted to your ‘old’ way?

  13. Eoin – yep, that was only during the campaign so it’s gone now.

  14. Richard O,

    Totally agree!

  15. There are some very strange jumps in the polls in one week:

    A 7% jump among 35-55 for Conseratives
    A 5% jump for Conservatives in Scotland (could be the visit – 14% improvement for Cameron’s approval, most of it coming from don’t knows)
    A 7% jump for Labour in the Midlands and Wales – mainly at the cost of the LibDems (Clegg’s approval rating is down by 12%)
    A 7% drop for Labur among C2DE (both Cameron and Clegg improving their ratings here pretty well).

    These are pretty big changes. Could it be a significant change in attitude in a relatively well defined social stratum that caused this move?

  16. @ Sue

    Spare a thought for those children whose parents live in extreme poverty,

    But Sue, it is those very children, the future generations that will have to pay down the debt.

    What is the point in having a few quid when you go to Uni if you are going to be paying huge taxes for the rest of your life because your fathers borrowed the money to give you that few quid.

  17. @ John Fletcher

    You then obviously would support a law that would ban payment of dividends by publicly quoted companies from borrowing and you would describe it as economics of the madhouse.

    Before you hurry with the answer: 2/3s of FTSE 100 companies do it year in year out.

  18. John Fletcher,

    But if government borrows large sums and spends it, it boosts aggregate nominal GDP. If it stopped then GDP would decline.

    Now do you understand all the hysteria about double-dips ?

  19. Paul H-J

    I do understand double dips, but if you don’t mind me saying so the most telling word in your post is “hysteria”.

    Waste is wrong IMO at any time and we should always expect to get value for money whatever the enconomic cycle. These cuts represent less than 1% of Government spend and are for the most part directed to getting value for money.

    If we do go into double dip recession IMO it will be because of events over the channel and 1% plus or minus in our Government spend will not affect those events.

  20. @ Richard O

    I fully understand your opinion and reasoning. There was also a gimmick element in this policy.

    However, there are two flaws. One is that if you move any universal benefit to means tested (CTF was a kind of benefit), in the UK in the last 30 years at an average a third of the entitled people did not get it, did not apply, etc (you also have a fairly hefty administration cost). The second is that universal benefits are ways of avoiding middleclass resentment towards benefits to those who do not pay tax (or pay little).

  21. Laszlo,

    You should distinguish between companies who pay dividends greater than their profits and those who fund the actual dividend payment from their RCF.

    If analysts and institutional investors did not insist on regular dividend streams, most companies would prefer to hang on to their cash. On the other hand, without dividends, why would pension funds etc hold equities ?

    Whatever the rights or wrongs, it should be for the shareholders to decide what they do with their assets, and not for anyone else. Laws banning dividend payments have no place in a free economy.

  22. The Tory and LibDem people are supporting Abbott for Labour leader?

    Someone’s playing silly b****rs, or these panels know a lot more about Labour’s likely trajectory if they elect a far-left leader than they’re putting on.

  23. @ John H-J

    I don’t want to ban it – but used it as a parallel with the borrowing for the CTF. Actually in the US for banks to pay dividends from borrowing has been banned since 1984.

    Your 2nd and 3rd point. Shareholders in the UK have basically no ways of influencing managerial decisions except for voting with their feet (exposing the management to the danger of hostile takeover). In a number of FTSE firms you need 70-90% votes for carrying a decision that management does not support (considering the fragmentation of shareholding it is virtually impossible).

    Of course there is pressure by institutional investors for dividends payment (although the variation of their income between dividends and shareprice changes is quite big year by year).

  24. John,

    I used the word deliberately. If you look at the output profile for every cycle since records became available there is always a “double dip” as the recession ends and before the recovery becomes fully established.

    The size of the second dip is usually related to the severity of the initial drop. Sometimes there are timing issues, at others it may be related to withdrawal of stimuli.

    A double dip is only a problem if the initial green shoots were a false dawn. Last year theer were warning signs that that may be so. Over the last two weeks those warning signs started flashing. Modest expenditure cuts in Whitehall have got nothing to do with it.

  25. @ John Fletcher

    Although there are not enough details of the 6.24 billion cut, but it seems that at least half of it will be reduced order to the private sector (I guess it is bigger, but we will know it, when the details are published) – although some of these were unnecessary.

    The danger of the double dip comes from this currently (it will continue with the cut in aggregated demand next months – let’s say 22 billion?).

  26. @ John H-J

    My answer, for some reason, was caught up in moderation. I don’t know which word or abbreviation. Sorry.

  27. Did not expect Cons to gain.

    It seems to be a vote of confidence in the coalition’s initial days.

    Wait till the Budget-and the Autumn Spending REview-popularity is bound to suffer.

  28. Laszlo
    Of course you are correct. Keynesian measures are now being reversed. The impact is proportionally small but I have no doubt will send some businesses to the wall and that is a greater impact than the first impact.

    Apparently we’ve seen nuttin yet!

    Thanks top AW for giving the YG ref. I saw nothing in the Laszlo extrications (thanks L) that raised an eyeborw. All predictable and of temporary significance.


    I would support a 3 year tax surcharge of 2.5pence which would cover half the deficit, halve the cuts, halve the job losses by 250,000. this might protect a lot of vulnerable people most of whom would think £1200 for their children when they are 18 a really useful lumpsum – probably towards a vocational course in FE colleges rather than university by the way.

  30. @DAvidB

    The problem is David that this coalition will not countenance further taxation and has reduced that which Labour planned. So while the polls indicate that your proposal would be acceptable, in fact it would not because polling evidence also shows that people lie through their teeth. The LD’s would not have reversed the NI proposal and so are now stuck with VAT increase.

  31. @ DavidB

    I would support a 3 year tax surcharge of 2.5pence which would cover half the deficit,

    And I would not.

    I do not feel that Government taking money from people to redistribute it as they see fit is a good thing in itself.

    Of course tax is necessary for some activites defence, education, health to give some examples.

    But just to take peoples with money one hand to give money back to them with another assumes the Government is a better judge of how people should spend their money than they are.

    IMO this is not the case and is sheer arrogance on the governments part.

  32. What suprises me is why Diane Abbott is the worst amoungst Labour supporters. Is it because she is a maverack? Is it because she fights for what she believes in?

    To me, she represents Labour at its core values. But I suppose I am missing something that Labour insiders know.

    I shudder to think what would happen to Labour if David Milliband was leader. I think he represents the Status Quo and I can’t see him as Prime Minister. He will never compare to my Labour hero Clem Attlee :( However my views are as relevent as a worms.

    I suspect that the Honeymoon is fully taking place now. Once Osborne and Laws bring the Axe down however, I suspect that Labour would be in the high 40s like they were in the early 80s.

  33. Sue/rich

    £250 would keep a child in nappies for less than half a year.


    I have chosen an averaged sized bambino’s posterior for that calculation. Amazingly, the bigger a child’s bum, the greater the cost.

  34. @ DAVIDB
    “I would support a 3 year tax surcharge of 2.5pence which would cover half the deficit”

    If you want to make sensible comments on economic policy-may I suggest that you try to understand the basic numbers first.

    The product of a 2.5p increase in Standard rate Income Tax is approx £10bn.

    THis is NOT “half the deficit”-the latter being £150BN.

    THose people who constantly argue that the deficit can be magiced away by a miraculous “growth” which will just appear, plus ” Tax Increases” really need to understand what the scale of the problem is.

  35. DavidB

    10)% agreement!

    2.5p would happily fall from my purse in order to alleviate some of the planned cuts. I don’t see why 10,000 should miss out on a degree just so my tax rate can stay at 20%.

  36. DavidB

    Make that 100% 8)

  37. @Kyle Dowling
    In the early 80s Labour was not very often in the high 40’s, I think.
    The Tory/Whig government is obviously in a honeymoon- nowhere near Tony Blair’s figures.

    Labour needs to be responsible, pick some key themes, be well led and leadable, avoid Bevan/Foot and Benn warfare against the party.

  38. @Kyle,

    Chris is right- in the 80s reds struggled at times to get into the 30s never mind the 40s. Now the 90s that was a different matter entirely. They were almost never out of the 40s.

  39. I think that Labour was in the high 40s in early 80s. 1980 to 81 and prehaps early pre Falklands 82. I have been trying to root around for the figures for ever so if anyone has them, I would be forever in their debt.

  40. My earlier post – i meant income taxation of course as opposed to purchase /sales taxation.

    Labour’s fiscal stimulus lowered VAT as it would benefit people who do not pay income tax and also those who do not pay NI. The reverse of course (VAT 21%) oppresses both groups and also dampens the recovery. I am just waiting to see how the Orange Bookers get on against Vince Cable three months down the line.

  41. @ Eoin and DavidB

    Just to show I am not some sort of selfish money grabber, I too would be happy to pay 2.5p more over a fixed period, but only to reduce the deficit faster.

    I would still expect all of the savings and monetary discipline that the current government intends to put in place to still go ahead as well.

  42. @John F,

    You will every penny you can get. Your daughter is just about to start emptying your pockets to pay for her Uni jaunt. :)


    I agree. A vat rise would be a disaster.

  43. I mentioned in an earlier post that i felt that some of the post GE poll boost was down to the way GB carried himself in the last day of his premiership. If that is the case then some of the drop could be down to this dropping from the public consciousness.

  44. @ eoin

    Your daughter is just about to start emptying your pockets


    About to. She has been busy doing it for the last 20 years already :D

    Acually she is just about to finish her course in Health and Social Care and is hoping to start work in a care home in September. (but I still expect the Bank of Dad to keep paying out. LOL)

  45. The advantage of Labour’s NI proposal was that it only applied to people in work. So it did not disadvantage those who were not. The CBI (well, the Tory component) complaints were bogus.
    Of course the NI increased hike was not opposed by Lib Dem because of this fact but now Laws is in a box and he cannot get out. I am not sure he wants to but I believe that VC must be like a ticking time bomb. perhaps at his advanced age he will take the largess (well no 1st class travel now) and sigh over what might have been.

  46. GrahamBC,

    I recall that you did. Yes it makes some sense. He certainly left with a lot of dignity. Blues now seem to be enjoying a genuine bounce. 39% is almost up to their 2010 highs with YG.

  47. The ICM poll tonight as Cons and Lab up and the LIB DEMS down.

    @Kyle. The last poll before the Falklands War began had Labour in third place behind the SDP/Liberal alliance. Labour had a big swing to it in the Southend by election in 1980 but failed to win the seat. As soon as Foot became leader the ratings fell.
    V sad that I can remember all this.

  48. @ Howard

    Yes, I think it will be a reversed multiplier. Today’s cuts took out a minium of 3 billion from the “real” GNP. There will be further effects. One can only wonder what would be the effect of the other 3 billion currently.

    One of the differences compared to previous “efficiency savings” is that the departments actually have to release money. Although one can have those small bits, like the ministerial cars, the only way to release cash if they cut purchase and wage (there are rather efficient ways in the NHS to deal with patients than the “standard” methods. However, these do not release cash. They just make it possible to treat more patients.)

    I would be very surprised if the emergency budget took out less than 22 billion (tax increase and cuts combined).

  49. Howard,

    A stragit forward rise in income tax absolves the employer from footing the bill. 20% is historically low anyway. Can someone tell me the last time it was at 20%?

  50. @Eoin
    DC and polls. To say it’s temporary is the understatement of the year (IMO). He’s still promoting ‘look I’m not really a Tory’ which IMO is all he knows how to do. I don’t have the view of him held by many, but he will duck and weave which is what he’s good at. Sort of Willie Whitelaw. Come to think of it that’s the definition of a toff.

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