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. I am positive that during 1981 or perhaps1980 before Foot became leader (you were right Chris) that the Tories ratings were on 27% and they were 3rd place. Sadly, the BBC poll tracker dosen’t cover pre Faklands polling. But I am sure that I remember at one point during the 80s that Labour was on around 47%. Probally before Micheal Foot was elected leader and when people were just reacting to Thatchers cuts.

  2. During the Crimean war income tax was a flat rate of 62%.

    During world war one, the flat rate of income tax was 30%

    During 1976 the flat rate of income tax was 35%

    Correct me if I am wrong but the 1990s it was 27%, falling to 25%

    Then it was 22% until a couple of years ago…

    20% is way too low :) :)

  3. @ Eoin Clarke

    Calculate it from the table – almost half of the 2% change for the conservatives comes from Scotland.

  4. Actually universities can become a major issue – the cuts are big and hence the pressure to remove the cap on tuition fees will increase.

    The middle classes will not like that (not having enough time to prepare for this).

  5. @ Howard

    NC has very assertively tried to marginalise VC and the liberal left. Hence Laws at the treasury when VC was the natural Lib appointment. The way the Libs handled the negotiations clearly seemed to have been driven by the right and never seriously negotiated with Labour is all part of this. I think the whole Lib DEms (or maybe just two thirds) are a ticking time bomb. I don’t know how things work in their party but NCs place could become untenable if things go badly for the coalition

  6. BBC reporting that Ed Miliband has more MP nominations than the other candidates so far. He seems to have momentum
    Kyle, I think that possibly in very early 1980 pre Foot and Wembley Conference etc and the Gang of Four declarations Labour had good poll ratings

  7. Keep on the look out on a post of mine. I have found Ipsos Mori voting intention polls dating back for 1977. I am a very happy man :)

    I have posted the link but it is in moderation.

  8. Chris Lane

    You are right. I have seen the figures. I wouldn’t be surprised if Labour got poll ratings like those over the comming months.

  9. @Richard O “Child Trust Fund is a perfect example of something that at the very least had to be vastly cut back, if not canned as per today.
    My partner & I were on 100k between us when we had our child, and receiving the £250, whilst nice, was a ludicrous usage of central Govt money!”

    Universal benefits are often derided for just this issue, but sadly there are some very good reasons for things to be done this way. It’s actually much cheaper in terms of administration than a means tested system, but critically it binds everyone, rich and poor alike, to the welfare system. If some groups never receive any benefits from the system, in due course they will question the entire structure and we risk descending into a battle between those who pay and those who receive, not a good position.

    While small in scale, the CTF was a great example of asset based welfare. This, rather than income, is where the real divide is, and any attempt to bring some level of asset growth to the low paid should be welcomed by the right as much as the left, especially as there is growing evidence that poor families were beginning to use these as savings vehicles for their children – promoting thrift.

    The better option would have been to maintain the CTF, however small, and claw back the savings from asset welfare payments that target the wealthy, such as ISAs and 40% pension tax credits. The bottom line is that while Labour managed to prevent the income gap from widening through some fairly substantial income redistribution, the asset wealth gap has ballooned to a ration of 2000:1 between the richest 20% and poorest 20%.

    It’s in no ones personal interests, least of all the wealthy, that such divisions remain or grow. Cuts will adversely affect the poorer, but asset redistribution schemes both offer an answer as well as a new solution to the deficit – assets are taxed very lightly compared to income and spending.

  10. @Howard,

    Sorry I am not able to offer much on Vince. My character judgement on him was always reserved.

    Charlie K, Lembit, Menzies, and Hughes they are my modern day lib heroes…

    Cable I rate somewhere in the middle, with Mark Oaten.

    Tether and NC himself, I am afraid it is spitting blood time.

    Laws is a Tory thus I will not include him in my comparison. The sentiment he arouses reminds me of Geoffrey Howe.

  11. Eoin
    Agreed on IT. The problem is with the bedrock of Tory support (the over 65’s). I reached (as you all undoubtedly remember) my 65th on Election day. A rapid examination of all the multinational largess that’s coming my way shows that I cannot avoid the 20% but will never get to the 40% bracket. I keep as much as i can in capital to avoid that.
    So illiberal people (unlike me!) will not appreciate paying more and that would affect Tory support but only if they thought another party would oppose such an increase – perhaps a minor shift to UKIP then.

    I’ve talked myself into thinking this is the best option for the Government.
    Perhaps VAT to 19 and IT to 22 then.

  12. We are reminded by a left wing social concience about the poors loss of £250 towards their childs education. What a shame that the Rebel Alliance has had to make such a move, the reasons behind it may have something to do with the nations financial state. It has’nt even got started yet, but already we are begining to hear how Labour would do it so much better.

  13. @Howard – “I keep as much as i can in capital to avoid that.”
    You’ve well illustrated the point I have made many times. We desperately need fair taxation, but despite the word ‘fair’ appearing in all three parties election slogans, I’m not holding my breath.

    DC has just backed down on the 1922 committee changes apparently.

  14. @ Eion Clarke

    I agree with you about VC. He is very cutting minded (I have known it from a text analysis of his speeches) and I read today, but cannot remember where :-(, that he is an archetypal cutter :-).

  15. @Roland
    He said this on April 28th so I don’t know where you got your info from. Cable’s problem (it is his problem) is that he doesn’t want to ruin the recovery.

  16. I really don’t see how the coalition can avoid VAT raises. And I still think that a 5% rate on food is still on the cards (although the supermarkets are protesting). Looking forward to seeing an explanation of fairness in VAT…

  17. @laszlo,

    If he looks like one and smells like on then he is one :) Trust your instincts :)


    I believe the revenue from an income tax charge surcharge charged at all rates) would be more than £10 billion if there was a reasonable degree of economic growth over, say, a three year period.

    My underlying point is that the LibDem component in this government should be in favour of offering people choices and opening up a real public debate. At the most banal level the current mantra which is, in effect, that given the deficit ,public spending cuts good and tax rises other than indirect tax rises bad is just not good enough.

    The potential fragility of Vince Cable’s support for what is going on and what might go on has already been mentioned. To that I would add the time-limited support of LibDem MPs like Simon Hughes – I emailed Simon Hughes with some comments about the coalition and received 6 full A4 sheets of reply which he was obviousy sending out to everyone – clearly a worried man who may well soon be an Independent Liberal having resigned the whip.

  19. @David B,

    It would bring in approx. £15bn P.A.

  20. I think even the 15 billion per annum is optimistic. You need to account for effects of such a change to NI contributions, tax allowances, tax-reducible expenses, moving income to capital, etc. 1% would probably bring in 3 billion per year.

    Of course, economic growth would be very important, also avoiding any major fall in the proportion of economically inactive.

  21. @ David B

    I think they (DC, NC) more or less amortised the goodwill on VC. He is needed for PR reason – and I’m pretty sure they will work on that need…

    I would agree with you about Simon Hughes, but I don’t know his influence in the LibDems (and especially among MPs). But the pressure has to be much, much bigger. Then the gambler’s fallacy could come in: we have invested so much in praising the coalition, we cannot quit it now.

  22. Laszlo
    Of course, economic growth would be very important, also avoiding any major fall in the proportion of economically inactive.

    Spot on, which is why we must encourage everything in our power to see EU growth increase. Our employment is directly influenced by the rest of the EU and USA and of course the price of oil. All the rest is tinkering.

    Have you seen the ICM poll -pure limbo stuff.

  23. @ DavidB

    I am afraid I am not sufficiently up on LD politics to give an eductaed respose to your comments about what the LD’s should be doing right now.

    All I will say is that the Tories policy during the election was to reduce the defecit by 80% reduction in spending and 20% increase in taxation.

    IMO such in the urgency of the situation that this is what now must happen, and is most likely to happen, in the emergency budget in June.

    I have no problems with a debate after that, about the way forward in future budgets and how any balance between spend and tax should be found.

    Indeed as the effects of the emergency budjet, the overall British economy, and the world economy develop, I would consider such a debate essential.

  24. @ Howard

    Yes, I agree with you on the ICM poll. Would like to see an analysis, rather than just reciting the frequencies, but obviously it’s not the polling companies’ job. What I can see is a quite high degree of uncertainty that leads to somewhat contradictory results – again from the raw data one could go further.

    I also agree with you about the importance of the EU, though I don’t really know what the UK can do about it. There is certainly a French version of the script and a German one. What would be dangerous for the UK government if they choose badly (because the choice will have to be made – if nothing else, in rhetoric).

    Killing off the RDAs will not help the growth I’m quite sure about that…

  25. @ John Fletcher

    I agree with you on the need of the debate – but it seems everybody says the same… Including Labour. I’m quite sure that a large proportion of the Emergency Budget will the draft budget submitted to Darling.

    I don’t think that the 80-20 is feasible politically. People are not frightened enough to accept it (and they have good reasons for that).

  26. For anybody who cares:

    Almost the entire fall in Labour support apparently happened in Scotland; Labour down 19% since last week from 57%.

    Allowing for roundings, this pretty much accounts for the entire -2%.

    I am sceptical of this shift being real. A week is a long time in politics but I think it’s more likely to be a ssampling error ;-)

  27. Despite my dismissal of the Guardian ICM poll there are for me encouraging figures.

    First most approve coalition government and most approve a more proportional system. I know that this is possibly less likely to produce a proportional result under the present division of constituencies but reducing them to 500 would make that more likely.

    So it looks good for both measures and i am interested in views of colleagues -I hope Anthony is too.

  28. @ ALEC

    DC has just backed down on the 1922 committee changes apparently.
    From whence came your information, please? This is a pivotal moment for the coalition if he has.

  29. @ Laszlo

    I agree with your post 8.34

    In activity was not an option for the new Govt, and their activity so far has been as per the script proposed during the election.

    IMO the future will be decided far more by events in Europe and the outcome for the Euro than anything that happens domestically.

    Over the next few months the government will just have to ride the storm.

    On the bright side DC and Osbourne’s strenghts seems to be their ability to react quickly and decisively to events, rather than always plan a long term successful strategy, and perhaps this is what is needed right now.

  30. @ Amber Star

    DC backing down is on the Conservative home web site.

  31. Cameron U turn is also on BBC on line

  32. @ Amber Star

    As I tried to show above, about half of the 2% comes from Scotland. The rest can be down to rounding.

  33. @ John Fletcher

    Yes, it’s a good expression (riding the storm).

    Two questions really: 1) Do they choose the right storm; 2) Do they have their own political support to that (leaders are just as much subject to influences as their followers).

    Europe will be extremely important.

  34. Storm in a teacup on 1922 committee

    I get the fervent impression that some colleagues are sometimes a little too fervent.

  35. @ HOWARD

    “Storm in a teacup on 1922 committee”

    As it turns out-yes.
    But DC was definitely heading for trouble.

    This is a sensible compromise-Ministers to attend 1922, but not to vote.

    They get to hear the grievances-which is a good thing-but cannot compromise backbenchers’ independence-which is an important thing.

  36. Are we all agreed the next Event is not the QS but the Budget? (Barring other Events)

  37. Blunket backs Burnham, Ed Milliband first to secure nomination.
    Oona King to challenge Ken Livingstone for Labour Mayoral candidate.

  38. Blunkett / Burnham, Kinnock / E Miliband.

    No-No has beens back no-hopers.

  39. Sue
    Perhaps the budget will put it right. I do find it strange that a benefit that could have been retained just for the poor, while ending it for the rich, has been ended. Perhaps I don’t enough of the ins and outs. My wife used to fill the car up with petrol in the 70s with the child benefit which was paid in cash to the mother.

    Wedidn’t have a great income in those days either.

  40. Climb down or Compromise/further misjudgement?
    1922 Committee appears to have been a remarkably effective mechanism down the years. Whips traditionally attending without voting rights (though if I understand it correctly the emphasis is on judging the mood rather than voting on issues other than internal business). Whips then report directly to PM. By allowing ministers (possibly even to become infected by the mood) has Cameron sacrificed the advantage of advanced knowledge/priviledged information wrt his cabinet colleagues?

    btw Colin congrats (Xanthogramma C) :)


    Thanks-a suberb thing-seen it yourself?

  42. Danny Boy I agree with you absolutely that child Trust Funds were a gimmick. What will £250 be worth in 20 years time even with interest added.? The best option is to develop the ISA tax free savings scheme
    I would have several rates of VAT. 25% on luxuries but reduced to 5.5% for things like, services provided by tradesmen. Perhaps a middle rate on other things. It needs thinking through but I believe it could be much more targetted. The one main rate is just too broad brush.
    That would boost employment by encouraging the use of artisans particularly. Most luxuries are imported so that would help the trade balance. Of course food & childrens clothes to remain zero.

    As for labour leader, I favour Dianne Abbot. I disagree with most of her political views but respect her totally. She is a rare conviction politician & she is good on This Week with Mr Portillo.

  43. To Anthony.

    Can I take it that Yougov has “reset” its data on how people voted last time – or is this an ongoing process as your panels respond.
    I guess the question answers itself, but I am really after any comment on the above – how long it will take and whether there is anything emerging that might add to our knowledge as to why the “polls got it wrong”.

  44. Colin

    Possibly, will look more carefully now. Can’t understand people who don’t like insects though – they are usually busy doing something important, or, eating the tiny blighters that we can’t see!

  45. Child benefit should be changed and be paid for the 1st child only. Obviously those getting it at present should continue to get it, to withdraw it would be unfair. Make the change effective from 12 months hence then people can plan accordingly.

    With the population increasing as it is and with the pressure on services & infrastructure, it is ridiculous that the government sponsors ever larger families.

  46. LASZLO and the reverse multiplier.

    Interest Declaration: I am a fan of Vince Cable,

    I think that the Lib Dem’s judgement over the £6bn has turned out to be wrong and the Tory’s right – and I think that the spooking of the markets by Greece is something that we need to recognise. As regards “reverse multipliers”, I strongly suspect that the markets would have pushed up interest rates on government borrowing such that £6bn would have been spent on interest anyway. I.e. the choice was cut spending to reduce the deficit or cut spending to pay an interest rise – and interest rates have a “multiplier” effect on the economy. No way of telling, I suppose.

  47. @ Howard
    I see nothing wrong with doing the best for ones children. Many do it at great sacrifice to themselves.

  48. The ICM poll seems to be in line with this.

    I’m rather pleased by the level of support for electoral reform and the acceptance of coalitions shown by ICM :)

  49. Lol – The only reason you Conservatives all favour Diane Abbott is because you know she’d be the most disastrous for Labour!!! Conviction politician my eye, if you really thought she’d be the best choice, you’d all have David Davies for leader.

    Robert in France – Re CTF, the £250 is not the point. It encouraged poorer families to save towards their children’s future – surely something you all favour??

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