I’ve been predicting for a while that we’d see some conference polls with Labour ahead, and bang on time tonight we have. The first voting intention poll with Ed Miliband as Lavour leader has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 40%, LDEM 12%. It’s YouGov’s first poll with Labour in front since the election-that-never-was in 2007, and indeed the first time they’ve hit 40.

Conference polls are a strange and rather artifical thing of course, Labour might well do even better after Miliband’s speech tomorrow, but I’d expect them to go back behind next week when the Conservatives enjoy their own conference boost. Nevertheless, it’ll be a good boost to Labour morale and presumably Ed Miliband will be delighted to be back in the lead in the polls in his first poll as leader.

More to come later (or tomorrow morning) once the Sun publish the rest of the poll.

164 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 39/40/12”

1 2 3 4
  1. Amber,

    The best thing for the Labour Party is David Miliband as CofE (shadow). I hope it works out. If not the Foreign Sec. (Shadow).

    I would prefer to keep him a trillion miles from health and education if you don’t mind.

  2. @JAIME -“How is he going to subdue the rumblings of discontent, if/when the going gets tough?”
    What rumblings of discontent?

  3. There’s far too much Labour back slapping on this forum.

  4. Cozmo,

    Well we should give Anthony credit. he predicted this red ascent quite a few weeks ago.

    Yellows 48 hours after Cameron’s speech will go single figures…

    October brings a Comprehensive Spending Review. that will pummel blue and yellow all the way to xmas…

    In spring Holyrood and AV will depreciate yellows to nothing.

    Clegg goes over the long hot summer

    Ireland win the rugby world cup

    :) :)

    (I’m teasing – but there is some method to my madness)

  5. @NBeale
    Since the Tories seem obsessed by the fact that EdM wasn’t ahead on the first ballot among MPs, and believe this demonstrates some lack of confidence among his fellow parliamentarians, a reality check is in order.

    At the Tory leadership election in 2005 Cameron won only 56 MPs’ votes in the first ballot (28.3%).

    This compares to Ed Miliband’s backing from 84 MPs (31.6%) in the first ballot of the recent election.

  6. @ Amber
    I agree, DC does personal but sincere very well
    @ syzygy
    there was a poster some weeks ago who suggested the cameron baby was a PR stunt, right through from conception to timing of birth. As far as I am concerned politicians are fair game for what they say and do in political life, but given what has happened to DC and GB with their families over the past few years, cynicism about their children, or other family members, should be off limits.
    Incidentally that poster was moderated.

  7. @ NBEALE

    I’m not Labour (wavering though). But I’ll have a go.

    “Ed Milliband has no chance of becoming PM”.

    “a. He looks really odd”,

    Does he? You’re just not used to him yet, that’s all. Neither is anyone else. He’s rather come through on the blind side and surprised everyone.

    “b. He is almost as far removed from Middle England as Gordon Brown.”

    Really? His politics certainly appear left of centre. But how far can a child of wealthy parents, educated at Oxford, and with a home counties accent (despite being a Londoner) actually be from “Middle England”.

    c. Everyone who has worked with him in Cabinet knows that he is hopeless. How many MPs gave him their 1st preference?

    They largely went for David as he was better known and more experienced. Also, he’d been angling for the job for some time. I don’t think this was a slight on Ed, who at the start of the contest was not even thought of as a serious contender.

    “d. Everyone knows he stabbed his own brother in the back. So no chance of loyalty”.

    Agree to a degree here. That does look bad. But it wasn’t exactly cloack and dagger stuff. he stood for election, he laid his cards out on the table, and the Labour party preferred his hand to that of his brother.

    In addition, I don;t think he expected to win. He just hoped to do well to raise his profile, so he would not just be seen as DM’s younger brother. Imagine the cries of nepotism had he not stood and got a plum Shadow Cabinet post at the behest of his older sibling?

    “e. Ed Balls will be intruiging against him within 6 months at most”.

    That would be the same Ed Balls, whose second preferences broke very favourably to Ed?

    “f. Cameron is the smartest political operator of his generation”.

    I’m not sure about this. He managed the aftermath of the GE extremely skilfully and he’s very good at PMQ’s. He’s also shown himself to be very flexible, and at time concilliatory. But the effect of the cuts may test him severely. And if the LD’s get cold feet and start pulling away, DC may finds he has few friends at home.

  8. @ NBEALE

    To answer my own question – fewer than 1/3rd of the MPs/MEPs voted for him [Ed M] as 1st preference.
    Funnily enough, a similar thing happened to David Cameron; your ‘most brilliant political operator of his generation’ had to come from behind to win the Tory leadership, did he not? 8-)

  9. If the coalition fails in the next 2 years, both partners in the coalition could suffer and we could see Ed become the next Labour PM.

    For this reason, the Tories will have to compromise to the LD’s on policies and they might even be restrained in their campaigning for a no to the AV referendum.

    If the cuts are not as bad as some predict, the economy hits the growth levels expected and the Lib Dems win the AV vote, plus gain credit for any positively received government actions/results, we could see the opinion polls reversing to pre 2010 election rating levels,

    By as MacMillan said. ” Events dear boy events “. Nobody knows what is around the corner to test the durability of the coalition. Personally I can’t see it lasting more than 2 years, as I can see some Lib Dems MP’s crossing the floor. Would the Tories that enlist the DUP MP’s across to bolster their parliamentary majority.?

  10. @Eoin
    I hope your predictions come true, but I am not so sure about the rugby. Doesn’t seem natural to me (cricket fan) to have that odd shaped ball bobbling around !

  11. @ Ashley

    There’s far too much Labour back slapping on this forum.
    Ah… but you missed all the LibDem back slapping in the run up to the GE. It felt like everybody, except Éoin, thought they were going to have about 80 – 100 seats & send Labour into the political wilderness. 8-)

  12. @ Amber
    when the vote went to the party membership, DC was ahead 90 to 56 was he not?

    Entirely agree.

    DC has had a real rollercoaster of a year personally but handled himself with tremendous dignity.

  14. Ed Miliband doesn’t look odd, he looks very Jewish, which of course, he is. He also has an air of being ‘geeky’, which may be a very positive thing, given that many people are fed up with Blair’s oily charisma and Brown’s brash bullishness. Ed Miliband could yet become a great PM. Let’s give the guy a chance.

  15. @AMBER

    I was one of those LD’s who also suspected they would do no better than 26% at best. I thought the strategy of concentrating on inner city Labour seats was always doomed to fail, as Labour voters sensed a Tory victory.

    However, I did think that Lab and teh Tories would finish in a near dead heat, so that the LD’s would have a choice of Coalition partner.

    I feel I also must speak up for the LDs here (even though I am thinking of deserting). 12% is not a calamity for the LD’s. At this stage in the electoral cycle they always tend to fall back to the mid teens.

  16. Next week’s conference will be a Con-Lib Dem love in, with the focus on attacking Labour. Can’t see this doing the Libs any particular harm. While I think the
    Libs will eventually sink into single figures, I suggest that it won’t be until January. At that point, the VAT increases will take effect and Clegg in particular will be in for it, having so categorically opposed VAT increases at the election.

    Would be happy to be proved wrong, though.

  17. @ Hooded Man

    NBeale referred to the PLP. Regarding the Tory leadership, the BBC reported:

    “David Davis topped the first poll of MPs but was overtaken by David Cameron in the final round.”

    So there you have it. DC didn’t have the unqualified support of the Tory MPs either. 8-)

  18. Some of the criticism, and the respose to Ed Miliband, were exactly the kind of criticism and repsonse given to both Blair and Cameron.

    Don’t forget, Labour tried to tar Cameron as a Thatcherite Toff, it didn;t pay work, and it didn’t pay off. It will be the same for the Red Ed and the Union man attack line by the coalition, I can’t see it working myself.

    Ed (Edward?) needs to demostrate himself to be a Prime Minister in waiting, as an alternative government, this is his task during the coming months and years.

  19. @ RAF

    I was in no way having a go at the Dems. I was just explaining to Ashley that when the yellows have a good result, back slapping will be expected of you all. :-)

  20. I find all this concentration on the leader fascinating. The media, of course, love to make things “simple”. How else are they going to try to make a soap opera out of complex issues.

    I’d suggest that they are the ones who have built this discourse about the overwhelming importance of the Leader (it’s worryingly reminiscent of European politics in the 30s).

    This assumption, I suspect, will be tested in May 2011 in Scotland (and perhaps Wales as well?).

    Polls here currently suggest that while Labour have a significant lead in VI, their candidate for First Minister lags massively behind the current incumbent when voters are asked to select the “best” FM.

    If Iain Gray becomes FM, then that would suggest that Scots at least, vote for party over leader.

  21. @Eric Goodyer

    ‘ no matter how their report is spun their underlying message is that the fiscal stimulus is being withdrawn too quickly’

    Having read the IMF report I can find no evidence of this underlying message. If anything this quote suggests otherwise.

    ‘ The fiscal mandate of balancing the cyclically-adjusted current budget by 2015/16 is appropriately ambitious.’

  22. A few predictions, based on nothing but gut instinct…

    1) The LibDems will split in 2011 or 2012. They have already lost a fair amount of support (including myself after 40-odd years), and a look at Labour and Liberals 1918-1935 shows what tends to happen to non-Tory parties in UK coalitions.

    2) I agree with those who think that EM will have a second crack if he loses first time. Same as Kinnock did. It’s the Tories are the ruthless party; Labour HATE getting rid of leaders.

    3) I doubt DM being in the shadow cabinet would suit himself, EM, or the party. Too much ammo for the press, looking for every possible crack to prise open between them. He’ll get the first available high-status international job available (president of the EU commission; EU foreign affairs supremo – they may get Cathy Ashton to step aside for him; president of IMF; ambassador to the US; whatever).

    4) The next election will be as messy and inconclusive as the last one.

  23. Cozmo,

    would in help if I said Matt Hogggard mite repeat Darren Gough’s hat-trick in sydney :) (I sat up all night to watch that- as I did tune in to Atherton’s 185 unbeaten in SA).

    I have a mild obession with cricket but only at national level… (eng.) though I do note my fellow Irishman pulled you out of a hole last week in that funney crieckt they play (ODi hmm.. where is the strategy in that?)

  24. @ Old Nat

    If Iain Gray becomes FM, then that would suggest that Scots at least, vote for party over leader.
    I agree. Iain is definitely not an X-Factor leader. 8-)

  25. Amber,

    i am sure you watched with silent horror loyal reds fraternise with this ‘progreesive majority’ malarjy back in April.

    Ed Balls deserves so much credit for putting the break on Hain Adonis and Johnson tactical venture.

    I think Reds number one focus should be to make sure we never fraternise ourselves almost out of existence again.

    It was a very very silent clifhanger and we had little sympathy from yellows at the time.

    I have a loyal streak which breeds resentment LDs and DM are testament to that. I fear it is incurable.

  26. @OLDNAT

    It’s sad that Party politics (at least south of the border) has become so presidential. Maybe this is a legacy of the fact that most political parties are disparate coalitions with so many different strands, that the leader really can “shape” the party to his own image.

    But leaders have always been important. Would the SNP have had as much success without Salmond? The tories without Thatcher? Labour without Blair? Rome without Ceasar?

    Perish the thought that someone called Amber could be hostile to Yellows of any sort (apart from Clegg maybe ;))

  27. @EOIN
    Yes. Wouldn’t it be ironic if your an Irishman 9and your namesake no less) helps England to Ashes success, and (given his penchant for the limited overs game) the World Cup.

    He would be one of the first heroes celebrated in both london and Dublin :)

  28. This is just one poll taken a few days after the election of a new Labour leader and in the middle of their conference, so I think it needs to be taken with a little dose of salt, but it’s worth reflecting on a few points, nonetheless. Firstly, it’s a mere 140 days since Labour suffered it’s second worst electoral performance since 1918 and I find it astonishing that they’ve recovered 10% during the new Government’s honeymoon period and well ahead of the anticipated nadir in the coalition’s popularity (probably mid 2011). Secondly, it’s worth remembering that when the Conservatives fell behind Tony Blair’s Labour opposition in the polls circa 1995/6, they didn’t regain a lead in any national opinion poll until they very temporarily went ahead during the fuel protests in 2003. It wasn’t until Brown bombed in late 2007 that they enjoyed consistent poll leads, some 11 plus years after first falling behind.

    On that basis, I think 140 days is a swifter recovery in fortunes than 7 years, don’t you?

  29. @Amber
    I knew what you meant….. ;-)

    Semantics in some sense but you guys have an unusual system. When even the Tories can lecture to you about OMOV then it must need some refinement?

    I know there is a lot of posturing but in ‘heart of hearts’ Labour looked rueful today……so Ed better rock ’em tomorrow..

  30. @ RAF

    I never took to Clegg; even before the run up to the GE. I’ve never thought of the yellows as the soft, ‘honest’ politics party that Clegg tried to portray them as. I’ve always thought of the yellows as scrappy, guerilla fighters – & given them kudos for it.

    Therefore, I found Clegg’s ‘honest new politics’ mantra to be dishonest; & disliked him for it. 8-)

  31. @ Hooded Man

    I know there is a lot of posturing but in ‘heart of hearts’ Labour looked rueful today……so Ed better rock ‘em tomorrow..
    We did look rueful – but it is the first conference for 13 years when we have not been in government. And remember where Kinnock’s ‘triumphalism’ got us… The odd atmosphere – it’s not all about Ed. 8-)

  32. @ Mark LV

    Ed seems a lot less geeky looking than David. David may have had the same policies that Tony Blair had in order to appeal to others. But Blair wasn’t geeky at all.

    @ Amber Star

    Perhaps Ed can steal Jim Murphy away from David as a friend. It reminds me of when I was young and I’d bring a friend home to play with. My older brother, if home, would always come in to show off his latest computer game or Lego set or other gadget and steal my friend away from me. Lol.

    There’s something both sweet and tragic about the Miliband sibbling rivalry.

  33. @ Éoin,

    For sure, I am tired of my party pandering to “Lord Ashcroft’s swing voters in the target marginals”.

    I am old fashioned; I believe you persuade the majority that you have the best people (MP candidates) & then everything follows on from there.

    That’s why PR with lists where you are not allied to your MP (Clegg style PR), I don’t like it at all. 8-)

  34. RAF

    “But leaders have always been important. Would the SNP have had as much success without Salmond?”

    It’s an interesting concept as to what “leader” means in different parties.

    You might like to take a look at this article

    h ttp://www.betternation.org/2010/09/wither-internal-democracy/

    I was surprised (correction – I should have been, but wasn’t) when Ed said “I am not going to oppose every cut the government comes up with.” – not “the Party”, not “Labour MPs”, not “the Shadow Cabinet”, but “I”.

    While Alex Salmond controls the agenda as First Minister, he doesn’t control the party agenda in the same way. Not only do the SNP control party policy at the Annual Conference, but also at the regular meetings of the National Council, the leadership can be (and are) defeated.

    Hitler and Caroline Lucas both could use the title of leader – the term is hardly useful as having common meaning however!

  35. @ SoCalLiberal

    There’s something both sweet and tragic about the Miliband sibbling rivalry.
    Yes, you are right. I don’t think either of them really believed Ed would win. 8-)

  36. @AMBER

    My reply vanished :(

    The topline summary was: Clegg has always been a social progressive and an economic liberal (which he believes IS progressive). This was clear from the GE campaign. So I hardly think his decision to team up with DC was “dishonest”. It’s probably his natural home.

  37. Amber

    “That’s why PR with lists where you are not allied to your MP (Clegg style PR), I don’t like it at all.”

    Not sure I actually understand that comment, but party lists (that abomination from the pits of hell) were imposed on Scotland by your lot. Certainly the first elections for the EU as closed party lists happened under their watch as well (though I don’t know if that was their clever idea, or if they inherited it from the Tories.

  38. @ eoin
    I know you give Ed Balls ‘credit’ but many would not. It would not be unfair to suggest he is the kind of politician who, having been steeped in the GB regime, and, by more than association, the situation they left behind in party and country (his ‘mood’ no doubt exacerbated by a skin-of-teeth battle to save even his own seat) rather preferred a spell of opposition when he can espouse anti-coalition rhetoric without responsibility.

    His piece in the Guardian today was probably received as a call to arms by the left, but rang very hollow from a minister in the inner cabal of govt barely 4 months ago.

  39. SoCalLiberal

    I believe that it was quite common in your Civil War, as in English and Scottish Civil Wars, for families to hedge their bets by having brothers fight on opposite sides, so that the family would maintain their privileged status, regardless of the outcome.

  40. @ Amber
    ok, fair point. I look back and wish my party had done more ‘rueful’ and less ‘panic lurching right to where they thought Mrs T might have wanted them to be’
    we might be pleased with Ed but I bet not half as damned pleased as you were when the Quiet Man appeared…….

  41. @ Old Nat

    One of the PR systems proposed by Clegg in an article I now cannot find, involves eveybody voting for a Party, then your MP being allocated from a list. I read it about 10 times thinking, What the F (sorry).

    I know all my local Labour MSPs rather well. They make themselves very accessible. 8-)

  42. @ Hooded Man

    Yes indeed, IDS; & “There’s something of the night about him” from Anne W about Michael H.

    I believe it was also one of the Tories own who made the “nasty party” remark. That was a gift that just kept on giving.

    I’m sure you have fond memories of similar Labour clangers. I don’t think Ed M will be one of them though.

  43. “I have never been a tipster
    Not sure how the bookies did on the leadership-small win for them?”

    If they’re anything like me they’ll be delighted. Laid D Milliband for quite a considerable liability at 1.5 on Betfair back in May and am now very happy indeed.

  44. hooded Man,

    I can understand why it rang hollow. It would have for many i’m sure. :)

    ed Balls began life as a scholar and a journalist… GB poached him because he saw potential in him… He is being punished (ironically by his own party) for the most commendable of attributes…. I’d say he is pretty happy with the outcome- he seems it but for reasons I know not. Ed M seems to attract a lot of affection from people like Balls and derison from people like Mandy. I am eager in anticipation to find out why…

    Bottom line: deride ed B by all means- he’lll cope- but remember, his cheif vice was loyalty to GB, and I know even the blue foe respect that ;)

  45. Amber

    So you are knocking Clegg (always a reasonable thing to do, IMO) for advocating exactly (or nearly exactly, since I don’t know precisely what he said) the same closed party list system that Labour introduced?

    mote? beam? eye?

  46. @OLDNAT
    “You might like to take a look at this article

    h ttp://www.betternation.org/2010/09/wither-internal-democracy”

    Execellent article, OLDNAT. Thanks for that. Although the writer is unsure whether while governing, a greater degree of internal democracy may not actually work less well in practice than a more centralised approach.

    I do find that smaller Parties find genuine internal democracy easier to manage than larger ones. Labour’s experience of “blood on the carpet” Conferences in the 80s has largely conditioned their approach on the degree of internal power they are willing to give their members (or technically, that their members are willing to give themselves).

    Larger parties are now, effectively, plc’s, with the membership now shareolders. They don’t have any say in the day-to-day running of the Party, but they have a limited say in major decisions (very limited in most cases).

  47. Eoin

    You’re back to this absolute loyalty to the leader thing again.

    You are such an intelligent, reasonable guy, that I fail to understand these contradictions in your soul. :-)

  48. @ Nick Hadley

    It makes me wonder if UK Politics has shifted in favor of Labour being the natural party of government and the Tories as the natural party of opposition. Of course, politics can change in a blink of an eye these days. But yeah, Labour did recover pretty quickly.

  49. RAF

    “I do find that smaller Parties find genuine internal democracy easier to manage than larger ones.”

    As with parties, so with countries – though those with North Korean tendencies will lack internal democracy, regardless of size.

  50. Oldnat,

    It is very easily exlained (by the way the missus asked me if you are a campbell on reading that post :P ).

    1. 14 years of christian brother teaching = respect for authority

    2. 18 years of the alternative to the stickies ;) breeds an understanding of the consequences of disloyalty that would make most grown men wet their pants.

    Neither will ever leave me :)

1 2 3 4