YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun tonight has topline figures of CON 43%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%, which is the highest the Conservatives have been for a fortnight or so. Nothing significant yet, but perhaps the first whiff of their own conference boost.

More interesting questions to come later (or tomorrow morning) though…till then.

UPDATE: The headline figure for the poll is that 83% support the principle of scrapping child benefit for households where someone earns over £44,000. 15% of people are opposed (though I would caution people against drawing the obvious but naive conclusion that it’s the 15% of people who would lose out who are opposed, it won’t be as black and white as that). More later…

83 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 43/39/11”

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  1. @Eoin

    ‘they are big enuff to look after themselves’

    I may be a blue but I have always believed that we should look after the weakest and poorest in society but the strong and the rich can be left to look after themselves. After all if those earning a decent income cannot look after themselves then what sort of society have we become.

  2. Aleksandar

    “if those earning a decent income”

    Please!! Let’s not get back to the previous threads discussions of what that means!

  3. I thought the whole point of only withdrawing it from families where any earner paid higher rate tax was that there was no means testing at all. It’s not actually that fair, as a family with a sole earner on £44k doesn’t get it but a couple earning £43k each do, but GO chose this method specifically to avoid the cost of means testing.

    And for the record, I think an overpopulated country should possibly consider whether a subsidy on child production is strictly in the national interest….

  4. IMO, the 43% does not signal approval of the CB policy. So what’s it all about? IMO, There is still antipathy towards Labour amongst some ‘others’.

    They’d like to vote Dem, UKIP, Nats or even don’t know who they’ll vote for…. then Labour go ahead & the Tories get a bounce from the ‘anybody but Labour’ voters. It’s been a consistent pattern from the YG panel since before the GE.

    It’s only a couple of points or three – but it cheers the blues up, no end. ;-)


  5. Neil A

    “And for the record, I think an overpopulated country should possibly consider whether a subsidy on child production is strictly in the national interest….”

    And just where is the economic activity to come from to pay for your pension when you are my age?

    There is also a very good argument for significant tax concessions for those who spend huge sums developing these future productive citizens – since those who don’t have children have massively more disposable income during their working lives – but equally benefit from the productivity of succeeding generations (to which they have contributed little).

  6. @Amber,

    I’m not exactly cheered up, I still think we’re spiralling gently towards a consistent Labour lead by year’s end. I’m not especially bothered either way. Wrong attitude for this website, I realise…

  7. Amber Star

    What really cheers the blues up no end is the lack of any policy from labour to tackle the deficit.

    Its alright to snipe from the sidelines,sooner or later Labour are going to have to come up with a reduction plan of their own.

    For every £ the tories announce in cutting the deficit,is another £ Labour are behind.

  8. just to show how badly managed this was listen to Margot James Tory MP in an interview with “Mornings with Joanne Malin:

    ht tp://

    start at 7mins 07 secs. Its 2 mins of sheer brill especially the line “The Policy needs refining. It just goes to show we’re feeling our way.”

    I’m pulling legs but it is funny one must admit ;)

  9. @ Anthony Wells

    Yes, I’m aware that polling finished before the end of the 1970 campaign.

    Back in the 1980s I remember reading at least one analysis that put the 1970 surprise down to late swing – and I just took it as read. After all, there were no eve-of-poll surveys to contradict this notion and so it seemed both a convenient and a logical explanation.

    But then we had the 1992 surprise and I began to wonder if, as you imply, the ‘late swing’ reason was too simple an explanation for what happened in 1970. Perhaps if the voting intention surveys had continued right up until the eve of polling day they would still have showed a small Labour lead. We will never know.

    My guess, for what it’s worth, is that in both cases the error was a combination of a number of factors – shy Tories; late swing; differential turnout; and an outdated sampling frame that over-estimated the true proportion of C2DEs in the electorate.

    My main point of contention, however, is the fact that some of Enoch Powell’s supporters to this day cite alleged research that indicates Powell may have attracted as many as 5 million extra votes to the Conservatives. (In other words, had Powell not existed Heath would have received only 8 rather than 13 million). Whilst some experts argue Powell did have an influence, the 5 million claim is surely erroneous.

    There is a certain ‘on line encyclopedia’ in which a debate continues to rage about this – but I just wish we could have some expert (politically impartial) psephological input into it.

  10. @OldNat,

    There’s no doubt that if our population began to shrink, the standard of living of pensioners would have to fall (temporarily). In the long run though the standard of living of Britons as a whole would increase. Temporary pain for long term gain.

    And there is a counter argument, that in fact non-parents probably contribute tens of thousands of pounds of their lifetime income to the raising of other people’s children, even without the Child Benefit system.

    Simply stumping up £70,000 a year to keep a family in a 9 bed mansion eats up quite a number of childless 20-somethings’ tax takes.

  11. @ Neil A

    I thought the whole point of only withdrawing it from families where any earner paid higher rate tax was that there was no means testing at all.
    The payment will need to start & stop & start based on earnings. CB isn’t paid through the tax system so relating it to tax – or taxable earning – is means testing.

  12. Neil A

    I don’t know how old you are, but the pain won’t be mine. It will very likely be yours, however. I am impressed that you are willing to sacrifice the economic well being of you and your generation for the benefit of other people’s children (should i assume you have none of your own – as far as you know? :-) )

    My assumption about your being a non-parent is based on your idea that “non-parents probably contribute tens of thousands of pounds of their lifetime income to the raising of other people’s children” without realising that parents pay that as well as the huge costs of raising children.

    On any strictly economic cost-benefit analysis, non-parents are pretty much freeloaders on those who bring up kids.

  13. @ Richard

    Its alright to snipe from the sidelines,sooner or later Labour are going to have to come up with a reduction plan of their own.
    Yes, opposition is about sniping from the sidelines; & it’s Labour’s turn to do it. Chuck us the keys to no.10 & we’ll do the other thing while you chaps snipe from the sidelines for another 13 years. :-)

    Labour will have to come up with a plan of their own…..because Alistair Darling didn’t have one. Oops, my mistake, he did. And our leader has spoken – “Alistair’s plan will form the basis of Labour’s deficit reduction strategy.”

    So there you go. 8-)

  14. Amber

    “And our leader has spoken”

    Well the must be right. And lots of other leaders have spoken different things – but they must be right as well.

    All these leaders – all these loyal followers. so little cynicism :-)

  15. Of course, sometimes leaders just don’t know how to deal with their remarkably stupid candidates. :-)

    h ttp://

    “Tories round on would-be MSP for ‘daft’ comments on ‘thick’ Scots “

  16. @ Old Nat

    “And our leader has spoken”
    Coining a phrase, because I am one of the undecideds who’d have liked to see an entirely new approach but, on the other hand, can also see some value in being consistent regarding the deficit.

  17. amber,

    this point is crucial:

    We ‘slagged’ blue so much for not having policy.

    The Labour Party of the UK is the greatest Social Deomcratic movement of our age. We have led Britain Scot, NI is ideas, innovations and improvements that have made these countries a fantastic place to be a part of.

    Never slip into the trap of apoligising or excusing ‘no’ policies. Stand tall, and proud, and shout them out. The people are not monkeys- the problem is we treat them that way. Unveiling polciies like a conjurer weeks before an election is anti-deomcratci, dishonest and portrays a like of conviction that would befit skulduggery of another ned of the poltiical spectrum.

    What can ever be shameful about announcing policies to tackle inequality?

    Minium wage,
    Social Chapter,
    Uni expansion,

    were all announced well in advance of our victory in 1997.

    The sidelines and the occupation of them are for the gamblers, the pragmatists and the liars….. not the champions of the poor.

  18. Amber

    Being consistent is fine – if you were right in the first place.

    Funding deficit in current revenue by borrowing is fine during part of the economic cycle (assuming that you have paid down debt during the good times). Borrowing (at the best possible rates – which PFI wasn’t) makes sense for capital investment. Taxation which produces sufficient revenue to fund desired expenditure is necessary at all points.

    Funding current revenue streams through one-off resources like oil, or through dependence on Post Neo-classical Endogenous Growth Theory (or a “bubble” as it’s normally known) is, however, simply stupid.

  19. Eoin


    – that which my parents petitioned for in the 1940s (along with a majority of adult Scots) and which was ignored until Scots voted in significant numbers to threaten British power.

    – that which my old boss advocated at a SLAB conference in the 70s and was shouted down

    – that which simply created democratic control over what was administratively devolved anyway

    – that which is intellectually incoherent in its allocation of powers between different levels of Government

    – that which is nested within a corrupted allocation of economic data (so where is ex-Regio?) to distort information for the people

    Not sure you should be “proud” of that.

  20. OldNat,

    I a broad church you will get policy differences. The difference is the wonderful thing, it is the shouting down I have the difficulty with.

    But then you know that already ;) So I am proud that some reds felt the could oppose dev/support dev yet still be part of the party.

    But equally yes- ‘shouting down’ from fellow reds in enrgey and morale sapping.

  21. Eoin

    Interesting that you see devolution simply as a policy difference – like the detail of tax rates. I’d have thought that (with your background) you would have understood the critical fault lines in politics.

    I doubt that you could find much difference between Barney and me on the fundamentals of economic/social policy within any political unit that we might discuss.

    There is a huge gulf between us on which political unit that should be.

    Politics is multi-dimensional. You prioritise one of the dimensions, I prioritise another. You are happy with a clone from the dominant political class to make the critical decisions. I want to knock hell out of one of my own. :-)

  22. Colin – Before any false divisions are created, I hope you agree that whilst politically we disagree, we have also occasionally found areas of agreement.

    I think, on the whole, that we have both tried hard to see the other’s point of view and I value your posts here.

    I have said before, that I came to UKPR to understand the blue viewpoint and Colin is probably the most reasoned blue poster here. Hooded Man and Matt have also provided some very interesting food for thought, and I enjoy PeteB’s and Roland’s posts enormously.

    To agree with everything you say would make me a hypocrite, but on the whole I think we disagree very amicably!!

  23. Cheers Sue ;-)

  24. Here are some snippets from a thread on August 19th. It involved myself and a couple of other lefties and even a blue if I remember correctly. Glad to see Labour listened!! :

    “I think Labour have to be very careful over cuts to universal benefits.

    It is our Trident (Con) or ER (Lib)
    If the coalition cut over, say, 50k and channel that money into lower income benefits, they will be able to make an excellent case for the cuts. Labour could seem out of step if they oppose it, but to ask Labour NOT to oppose cuts to universal benefits is a big ask.

    Elephant Trap Ahead LHQ

    How can a Labour Party, in all conscience, in difficult times, justify paying benefits to millionaire pensioners or oligarch-wife-Mums??

    We don’t need to be frightened of supporting the better ideas of the coalition, we must just be vigorous in opposing the bad ones – and of course pointing out the blatant hypocrisy of the u-turn.

  25. OldNat,

    Yes I asked you before if you rememebr, whether you were a republican socialist or a socialist republican. In Ireland, they is a huge diff. as you know. The older I get, I become the latter but I was reared the former. It seems to me that among the youth of Scotland, the opinions and thoughts on independance are a little more ‘confident’ (for want of a better word) than the older generations. One Rosshire family I know is of 6 generations. The matriarch and patriarch are Tories, the next generation are libs but the bottom three generations are all SNP. (Labour don’t feature).

  26. Eoin – Oct 6th, 12.45 am

    Re : The above post and your moral outrage yesterday when I suggested we’d had a discussion in which you argued Reds should not come forward with policies, but oppose constructively, it was on the

    Harris Poll link, 15th August.

  27. Sue,

    I can see where the misunderstanding arises. Policies in “cold storage” is not the same as not having any.

    You can’t physically pass mimimum wage, devolution social chapter, if John Major and the Unionist have a majority. What you do instead is say

    Tiocfaidh ar la (our day will come).

    So I can fully see how you think ‘cold storage’ means not having polciies but that is never how I meant it. If you re-read one of my other posts- I said we could maybe implement some of them in Holyrood from 2011.

    But phyically, technically, in reality you can ‘pass policy’ you cant even ‘propose policy’ but noone ever said you can’t formulate policy. Ever waking minute should invovle a consideration of how to make the country a better place.

    As for the constructive opposition I stand by that. Benefit capping is a cracking idea (I was outraged at the thought that 50,000 familes get more than £26k. I also welcome IDS reforms. I do not support VAT or their stitched up fixed parl.

    But in ever day since the election I have proposed tonnes and tonnes of policy

    Turkey EU
    Social Housing
    Income Tax
    Graduate Tax
    Care Service
    Variable Migration caps
    50% shortlisting of female candidates
    1 year Maternity full pay

    But ask me can reds ever propose/pass/enact/legisate those before 2015? I’d say- of course not. They must go into cold storage- to be unwrapped on xmas day. But of course the public need to be aware about them in advance.

  28. I see, we agree then :)

  29. Sue,

    Well actually as it happens, I have always regarded you as the most constructive red on UKPR at reaching out to blue. Especially in Mar.-May (pre-election). Your natural mode of argument seems to me to seek consensus. certianly, you were much fairer to Colin in the days were I went ‘toe to toe’ with him.

    The only difference I see is that an election is years away, and I aint got the stomach to fight that hard all the way to May 2015. There was a little while after the start of the coalition gov…. where you were still in ‘election mode’. It lasted about a week in fairness to you.

  30. Chris Todd,

    One Nationism had its last great moment in the “Pay Pause” in the early 1960s. The late 1960s saw a proliferation of strikes; businesses worked out that government planning was too incompetant and unworkable with which to be worth co-operating; a new Student Left, who were isolated from working class concerns, began protesting on ideological grounds rather than pay etc.

    Heath gave it a go in the early 1970s, but failed to manage the economy properly. Then there was the Three Day Week, and the National Front, and the Militants, and the Winter of Discontent, all slowly shattering the post-war consensus. By the time Thatcher got into Number 10, consensus politics was already becoming anachronistic (though it was still popular).

    After the Miners’ Strike and the Poll Tax riots, things settled down again. The 1990s and turn of the century has been a time of considerable and growing consensus. The Tory-Lib Dem coalition, which would have been unworkable in 1990 or even 2000, is working quite naturally now in 2010.

    (There was also a lot of “I’m Allright Jack” stuff in the 1950s, hence the film. Even Attlee’s universal welfare state was built on the snobbery of skilled workers towards being means tested like unskilled workers in the 1930s.)

  31. I don’t see why means testing is needed at all for child benefit. Just count child benefit as part of income and tax it appropriately. Then you get a progressive benefit system, without having to do any means testing.

    I’d rather have a progressive consumption tax than our income tax system, but of all our existing taxes ,the income tax one is the most progessive.

  32. Just for clarification purposes: a progressive consumption tax is an income tax that doesn’t tax income that is saved, invested and so on. It’s a way to reward savers without shoving up interest rates. As long as a rich person saves their income (when they can’t use the money and the money can be used to support lending) they pay no tax on it. The disincentive effect on spending is limited by the fact that the object of saving is consumption and most people have sticky preferences for spending anyway.

    The switch would probably require too much bureaucracy to do right now, however.

  33. @OldNat,

    I’m 41, have two stepchildren and will indeed probably be about to see my (police) pension cut dramatically. If that is part of a wide ranging reform then I can live with it. I may be unusually philanthropic for a rozzer, though.

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