Time for an update on this week’s voting intention polls. Here are YouGov’s figures this week:

YouGov/Sun August 2nd: CON 42% LAB 38% LDEM 12%
YouGov/Sun August 3rd: CON 41% LAB 36% LDEM 13%
YouGov/Sun August 4th: CON 42% LAB 36% LDEM 13%
YouGov/Sun August 5th: CON 44% LAB 36% LDEM 13%

The Lib Dem drop to 12% last weekend was slightly more meaningful than I thought at the time. I said then that it was part of a downwards trend, but that we’d probably see the Lib Dems back up at their average of 14% or so in the next poll. In fact, the Lib Dems this week seem to be down to around 13%.

The Conservatives and Labour meanwhile remain steady in the low 40s and mid 30s respectively. Last night’s poll had a Conservative lead of 8 points, the largest for a couple of weeks, but more generally I think we are just seeing random variation around a Tory lead of about 6 points or so.

227 Responses to “Voting Intention Update”

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  1. ZEPH

    Just seen your quer about the Millibands in Hampshire – best way of finding out what’s happening and where in the labour leadership campaign is the Labour List website – on John Denham in general there’s an interesting interview and encouraging with him in the latest edition of the Fabian Review which I think is available on-line.

  2. rob

    have you read the orange book

    i have not, i’m planning to buy a copy next week(every time i visit the motherland i come back with a sack full of books)

    but i have heard that it is not the dogma book that people like you say it is

    is there anyone here that has read it that can comment, if not i will tell you all about it in two weeks time

  3. @Sue marsh – “My husband had a motorbike when he was 11 and could ride ALL DAY on his friend’s land without having to cross a road”

    I had a bike like that once.

  4. anthony

    i can no longer access this site from my phone, for two weeks now i have been getting “404 not found error” have you changed something or is this a local problem

    i only found this site because my internet was buggered around the time of the GE and this was one of the few sites i could access from my phone.

  5. @Sue,

    Don’t you think that if your chap who owns half Surrey could get planning permission for 400,000 new houses on his land he’d happily trade it for cash?

    I don’t necessarily think that the pattern of land ownership itself is the problem with housing supply. I own practically nothing, have only been to Surrey about three times and I’m probably more opposed to development on his land than he is…

  6. Looks like Gove could be in more bother. The Telegraph has more leaked papers, this time some legal advice given to the DfE that local councils have a strong case to sue the government for costs associated with the cancellation of school building.

    Its a bit complex, but it appears that the advice was not to make decisions on the basis on the type of school but on whether councils had made firm promises to private contractors. Instead, Gove chose the more political route of agreeing to fund academy status schools and not others. This makes it much more likely the DfE will have to compensate councils depending on how advanced their negotiations with contractors were.

    I’m afraid this backs up the whole picture that is emerging from across government of a string of over hasty cuts that were ideologically motivated and governed as much by political philosophy than economic necessity. Personally I always found Gove to be one of my least favourite and most arrogant Tory frontbenchers, and it looks like this characteristic has followed him into government.

  7. If you check the Plymouth Herald website you’ll find at least one Academy school that’s had its BFS funding withdrawn, so the decisions weren’t entirely based on the school’s status.

    Certainly there is a case for compensating local authorities for cash they may have to pay to their contractors. I don’t believe the Tories are “ideologically opposed” to new school buildings though.

  8. Rob,

    Is there something to be gained from Vince’s words of offering….?

    I decline to call them wisdom (I’ve never rated the dude)… His saithood was bequeathed by Murdoch so I decline to recognise that too…

    There is only one person on earth who would be less appealing as a granter of hgher status than Ratzinger and than surely must be rupert…

    Gordy B is neither Mr Bean nor is he Stalin he is a decent egalitarian

    Rant I know, and apoligies for it…. Vince in all his guises provokes that response from me…

    Why don’t enough people sing charlie K’s praises? If ever there was a man meriting beatification then surely of all the modern day yellows it would be him

  9. In fairness to sue, she didnt marry that dude she married his mate…. :) Rarely is there a correlation

  10. It would be wrong to let the day pass without acknowledging that contact point is no more.

    A good friend employed in Lincolnshire county council put the consequences of the decision very well…

    “We no longer have the capability of tracing kids records from any of the other 39 districts”

    I am sure the £40 mill costs of the database would have been gladly met by philanthropists or dare I say it tax payers…

    This is a backward step for children

    The plans to cut free milk for under 5s are not quite as serious but nonetheless I thought health spending was to be maintained…

    Where do we categorise children’s health..?

  11. Eoin

    Contact Point was a £224 m project-to hold the names, ages and addresses of all 11million under-18s on a central computerised database, along with the contact details of their parents, schools and GPs.

    It would be available to hundreds of thousands of teachers, police officers and social workers.

    This was a massive data base of people, 90% + of whom would never come in contact with social services or the police.

    No doubt some more proportionate system is appropriate-but was this thought through or was it an expensive knee jerk reaction to the Victoria Climbie case?

    Isn’t the clearest lesson from these awful cases-which never seem to stop-that better training for social services operatives, more effective management of them, less prescriptive process & more initiative & common sense in decision making, and much better inter agency co-operation are always highlighted?

    How much of those things can we buy for a fraction of Contact Point?

    Also is there not a point at which Civil Liberties has to be weighed in the balance-and is a data base of ALL under 18’s not it?

    On free school milk-the minister is quoted as saying that there was no evidence that the scheme improved the health of children and that it was too expensive – next year it would cost £59m to run.

    But she also said that she was considering increasing the value of Healthy Start vouchers, which can be spent on milk or fruit and vegetables, and are given to pregnant women and children under four.

    I think if this cut is made without any mitigation they will deserve the huge criticism they will get.

  12. “have you read the orange book”

    Vince Cable was a contributor to the Orange Book along with David Laws , Paul Marshall , Nick Clegg, Edward Davey, Chris Huhne, Susan Kramer, Mark Oaten and Steve Webb.

  13. @Colin – I think you might have misunderstood the Contact Point database. All children were to be on the database in terms of basic details, but only those at risk or who had come into contact with specific children services and gave some cause for concern had full entries on the system.

    I’m not an expert so I can’t comment on the balance between cost and benefit, but I would expect now to se continued tragedies with authorities unable to track children as Eoin says, and we know from very many cases that the first response of abusive parents when questions are asked is to move to another area.

    I’m really not too sure about the civil liberties arguement about government databases. People get very hot under the collar about this issue, but all databases are are collections of already available data being used by government for well defined and beneficial purposes. I don’t really get what’s so bad about that.

    Contrast that with the information that you are freely giving away to commercial internet service providers everytime you log on, or supermarkets everytime you shop with a loyalty card so that they can make more money from you – I’d be far more worried about their databases.

  14. Alec

    I think I understood that-yes.

    The other point worth making is what odds would you give that a State run data base of 11m children will not, at some point in the future ,fail technically, and/or leak out to undesirable / unknown accesss ?

    As I understand it the need for a more proportionate system focussed on at risk children has been recognised.

    Alec-if every major project , whatever its flaws, and whatever arguments are advanced about cos/effectivity. is to be defended by the “this must continue” defence, we really make no informed decissions, or progress in reforms at all.

  15. RIP Dr.Karen Woo, and Tom Little, killed for giving medical aid, and for being a Christian.

  16. Alec

    This was the Contact Point content -for every child :-

    •name, address, gender and date of birth;
    •a number identifying them;
    •the name and contact details of any person with parental responsibility for them (within the meaning of section 3 of the Children Act 1989 (c. 41)) or who had care of them at any time;
    •details of any education being received by them (including the name and contact details of any educational institution attended by them);
    •the name and contact details of any person providing primary medical services in relation to them under Part 1 of the National Health Service Act 1977 (c. 49);
    •the name and contact details of any person providing to them services of such description as the Secretary of State may by regulations specify;
    •information as to the existence of any cause for concern in relation to them;
    •information of such other description, not including medical records or other personal records, as the Secretary of State may by regulations specify.[37]

  17. @Colin – appreciate your points, but my understanding was that the ContactPoint system was introduced as it was thought to be the most efficient way to monitor risk to children.

    I guess its a very technical area, but there is of course also the flipside to the ‘this must continue’ argument that you make which would be the ‘this must be cut’ response, regardless of “whatever arguments are advanced about cost/effectivity” etc etc To many people that seems to be where we are at the moment.

  18. Alec

    re your second para.

    I actually share your concerns.
    But I’m not willing to join the speculators of slash & burn.

    I cannot -and do not -believe that is the mood, the intent, the purpose…or the sort of people.

    So I await the actual announcement-with some nervousness .

  19. Alec

    The worries about ContactPoint were more civil libertarian than cost. In addition access to it would be so wide that there would be for example the danger of an abusive parent using it to find the location of an escaping partner and children.

    You can easily thing of other situations too: employers checking up on what should be private in childhood; the Press tracking down all sorts of things. Illegal of course, but likely to happen and difficult to convict.

    There’s also the argument that you can lose the information social workers etc need in the vast majority of data on children who will never need to come in contact.

  20. Some feeling perhaps that the honeymoon continues. he Conservatives did well in a council by-election in Rotherham MBC last week. I tend to agree with Anthony’s analysis by and large, though. Labour can’t do much until its leadership is decided.

  21. @Roger Mexico – I understand what you are saying. I guess there is always a greater risk with a greater concentration of private data. Its all about the balance between seeking ‘perfect’ information transmission to prevent harm while protecting against data abuses. May be like one of my posts yesterday on terrorism and civil liberties we need to accept that some cases of abuse may well occur as to gather the data required to prevent all of them could also create situations of abuse.

  22. @Alec and Colin,

    I have a pretty good background for commenting on the ContactPoint issue. I am very upset that it has been abandoned, frankly. The problems with it were 1) Cost and 2) Concerns about wide access. 1) has already been paid and 2) I feel could have been dealt with to a large extent by procedural safeguards.

    It was a specifically requested project arising out of the Climbie enquiry. It was to address a problem which is actually universal but which was of particular concern in Child Protection ie we as a country have no idea who the hell anyone is, where the hell anyone is or what the hell anyone is doing.

    Abusive and neglectful parents systematically use the failures in information sharing to keep themselves beyond the reach of the authorities. That is a two-staged problem. Firstly once they move they are quite difficult to track down, and ContactPoint was intended to address that stage. Secondly, once they are tracked down social services departments are extremely poor at getting to grips with their case. They prefer to start afresh and give them “a clean slate” rather than pick up where the last local authority left off.

    I left Child Protection work before the database came into force, but I can think of at least a dozen cases I dealt with where a properly functioning national database would have made a real difference.

    The saddest thing really is that all of the children’s details on ContactPoint will already appear on numerous other local databases around the country. It’s not as if your personal information is secret, lots of people have it. For most of us, those who don’t do anything terribly bad, this is of very little concern. It was dodgy people who would have been impacted by ContactPoint.

  23. @ DAVIDB

    Thanks, I found the John Denham interview which makes interesting reading. He touches on what Labour should do to reconnect with the English. It is available from.

    h t t p ://www.fabians.org.uk/publications/publications-news/denham-we-must-change-more-than-we-realise

  24. Colin, Roger…

    I had no idea civil liberties was one of the main arguments to get rid of Contact point…

    In Northern Ireland we the police have had stop abd search powers for years… we dont have juries for key trials and our ‘special branch’ had files on all of us… House searches are declining but traditionally 30,000 uniform house searches a year was the norm. In short, civil liberties is a failry alien concept.

    Regarding cost, I gather it would have cost £40 mill (ish) per annum… I appreciate a comprehensive spending review has to be thorough but it is a step backwards for childrens safety…

    If they come with an alternative method of collaboration well and good but bear in mind there have been some fairly high profile cases of late were paedophiles skipping county boundaries have continued to be a threat to children….

  25. @neil A – a very interesting perspective and one that backs up my general feelings on this issue. I had wondered what the cost savings would really be for a system that is already up and running, and I suspect in a few years time after another enquiry into a tragic child killing we’ll see the ressurection of this idea, but we’ll have to pay the full cost all over again.

  26. Neil A

    Thank you for that insight.

  27. @ Neil A

    Laszlo made interesting comments a while ago about how directives for ‘efficiency savings’ from on high get translated into ‘cuts’ as they get closer to ground level, with managers making real decisions about resource allocation.

    Had a conversation with a friend in local government… he thinks his job is safe because the dept. is already understaffed by 25%, but… down the corridor, child protection is the department that has already borne the brunt of job cuts in recent weeks . I suppose at risk children are seen as the constituency with a small to insignificant voice compared to other groups who complain when their services are cut. :(

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