Tonight’s YouGov/Sun voting intention figures are CON 42%, LAB 37%, LDEM 11%. A slightly larger Conservative lead than recently, but not necessarily anything meaningful – we’ve seen plenty of temporary blips along the same lines.

While I’m here, an update from last night’s YouGov poll. As well as voting intention, we asked about the Conservative plans to force the long term unemployed to take part in compulsory work placements or risk losing benefits. 74% of respondents supported it, 22% were opposed – very strong support, including a majority of Labour supporters.

More broadly, the polling on this, on the housing benefit cap, on the measures in the spending review and so on does seem to suggest people are supportive of the welfare benefit cuts the government have proposed – often very supportive. The two caveats we need to consider on that front are, first, the policies appear very popular now, but may be less so once they come into action and some people start losing out.

The other potential downside is the effect on party image. A point I often make here is that policies that are popular in themselves, can still have negative effects upon party image. The Conservative party has in the past struggled against the public perception that they are party of rich people, and don’t really care about the less well off. Benefit cuts may be popular, but there is a risk they could also play into these negative perceptions. So far, however, this does not appear to be a problem – on YouGov’s party image trackers the Labour party continue to be ahead of the Conservatives on having their heart in the right place, and wanting to appeal to the whole country… but the Conservative position has not got any worse.

399 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 42/37/11”

1 6 7 8
  1. @ Colin.

    Nice to see that there are others who can see the underlying truth’s that the program was trying to get across, abeit in a simplified way. At least the present government is pointing in roughly the right direction. There is no doubt that the size of the State really will have to be tackled if this country is to survive, if we are lucky in a second term!

  2. Eoin & Mike N,

    Last nights YG for stats geeks….

    Blue 40.37% to 40.50%
    Red 40.05% to 40.18%
    Yellow 9.50% to 9.53%

    As Eoin said this is not meant to imply any more precision than rounded %s, especially as MOE overrides all, but is an arithmetical calculation of the min and max percentages of VI based on weighted samples and derived sample size excl WNVs and DKs

  3. Hooded,

    Wow on the LD scores!

    I wonder will that be sustained?

  4. Cozmo,

    Wow that is low… any coincidence between that and LDs at 9.5% do we think?

  5. Eoin,

    You’re not heeding your own advice ;-)

  6. Hooded,

    Not my advice: Twas the polling police wot dunnit. :)

  7. Colin wrote:
    So ……where do you feel John Cowperthwaite went wrong Howard-and why is he so revered in HK & the region ?

    Sorry Colin, I went on last night and did not see this follow-up post from you.

    My critique of the programme was its unnecessarily one-sided presentation of free market politics (as opposed to free market economics) and unnecessarily aggressive treatment of the few occasions when social democrats appeared, such as AD and BB (TUC).. They were treated in the Paxman style by Martin Durkin (which is a turn-off for me at any time) whereas such contributors as NL and the fat HK businessman were listened to with reverence.

    It had nothing to do with my take on the development of Hong Kong. I don’t see what is the point of such programming. It is so unlike the traditions of British public service broadcasting.

    To answer your question on Cowperthwaite (glorious name) he allowed the colony to develop as in the Victorian times here. All economies develop in this way, which is why hundreds of mainland Chinese are suffering as the emerging economy – emerges. One day they will assert their rights and then there will be better public health measures and safety, with better education for the peasantry.

    They are doing better than we did in 1850 on that score.

    My view is that Hong Kong’s ‘success’ (I would not want to live there literally for all the tea in China) is to down to geography, like Singapore and so on.

    But a decent programme (I only saw the last 20 minutes, so criticise me for that). would not be trying to preach but to educate. We will miss the BBC one day.


    What a mine of information this site can be.

    Thanks for your post on Tito.

  9. Howard

    “To answer your question on Cowperthwaite (glorious name) he allowed the colony to develop as in the Victorian times here.”

    Yes- great name.

    May I suggest you check out HKs rating for health & other services.

    I appreciate that you missed part of the progg-but the point being made was that an economy of modest State intervention can still have fine ( suberb) services & infrastructure-if the economy generates the resources.

    With regard to “hundreds of mainland Chinese are suffering as the emerging economy emerges”- I think a look at conditions of the Chinese peasantry prior to economic liberalisation might be instructive.

    Certainly the export orientated growth pattern has not spread wealth widely-but if Seoul is to be believed , China will mve gradually to an economy based on internal consumption.

  10. Colin,

    I read Kettle’s piece, a good balanced article, as per usual from him.

    Provided a sensible contrast to the cartoon that sat above it…….!

  11. @Eoin re NC TellYouGov rating minu3 395

    “Wow that is low… any coincidence between that and LDs at 9.5% do we think?”
    I am tempted to say yes but am looking anxiously over my shoulder and listening for nee-naa-nee-naa when polling police come to get me :)

    The numbers don’t seem to fit well with polls but I do wonder if they might be a rough and ready leading indicator. All I can do is watch and compare over next few days ( so long as I am allowed bail ). I have a pint staked on LD being on 9 or less over the weekend.

  12. – – – oops – minus 395

  13. Cozmo,

    I’ll read the comments, their qualitative value is greater than the score… but yes as a very rough indicator it shows that Cleggie at the very least is in the news. It does not take a genius to decide if that is good or bad news…

    I’ll go take a look.

  14. @MIKE N
    Does it make you personally feel better if yo post comments which are pretty much senseless, but talk your party up and the coalition parties down? It seems to me tantamount to writing yourself a torrid and passionate love letter and signing it Cheryl Cole.

    Before you make these soppy pronouncements about How rosy things look for your party, pop over to Political Betting and see Mr Smithsons little chart about Housing Benefit, Disabled living Allowance, Job Seekers and Unpaid work. There you will see that Labour supporters are in every case 55 to 60% supportive of the coalitions policies. And this is “looking good for Labour” is it?

    As for the G60, who says it is a failure for Cameron
    Polly Toynbee? And what impact would it have on the average voter anyway?

  15. Can somebody tell me how to put writing in bold?

    I have done a qualitative analysis of the positive comments for Clegg on Tellyou for Cozmo, and bold would help me explain my point better?

  16. Hooded Man


    I thought that image was extraordinary.

    It is the pictorial equivalent of some of the verbiage here.

    I just don’t understand it.

    Concern for people falling between the gaps of the final IDS plan is absolutely fair-I share them.

    But this idea that any conditionality attached to job related welfare , is a breach of some sort of inalienable right & entitlement , and a means of “victimisation” is bizarre. But it is there -no doubt.

    And it is the sheet anchor which IDS will have to pull against. Mixing metaphors -it will on occasion morph into violent resistance-I think we have seen that start.

    How these people think we can compete with the Asian economies, running an economy based on that sort of culture is hard to understand….but I don’t think they care where the money comes from-so long as it keeps coming.

  17. Eoin

    Use ‘‘ before and ‘‘ after

  18. Colin wrote
    I appreciate that you missed part of the progg-but the point being made was that an economy of modest State intervention can still have fine ( suberb) services & infrastructure-if the economy generates the resources.

    Yes of course.

    I believe small islands can do very well, but you usually detect an angle that gives them an edge, not always geographical (sitting on a gold mine is handy) but in HK’s case and Formosa. South Korea, they were not in mainland communist China and I suspect that was a great advantage. Macao was Portuguese and does not seem to have developed in that way, so it could be interesting for a historian to have investigated that.

    As someone who watched the entire programme, you will know if Durkin did that. Did he look at Indonesia and other ex- colonies? Did he look at post war Japan and Australia? How more or less socially democratic were those states than Hong Kong?

    I suppose this could be uninteresting to some.. As I say, it was the style of programming, not the issue, that particularly irritated me.

  19. @Roland

    good afternoon to you! And thank you for your post.

    I’m sorry you found my post unsettling, and that you felt the need to respond at such length.

    Enjoy the rest of the day.

  20. No that didn’t do what I wanted


    Use #[email protected] before and #/[email protected] after

    Where # is the less than sign and @ is the greater than sign

  21. Eoin
    I use an asterisk before and after which is internet etiquette for not seeming to be a n*tter, like those who use c*pitals..

  22. @MIKE N
    If I felt there was something to be unsettled about Mike I would keep quite. It is usually dear Jay Blanc who excels in this kind of comment, it does not improve Labours chances nor does it damage the coalition, so why do it?

  23. Howard

    He did look at countries with a very high State sector & contrasted the quality of public services with HK.

    He didn’t look at other former colonies.

    But his point about HK was that Cowperthwaite-being a civil servant knew where the term “Mandarin” had come from-the stultifying Chinese Bureacracy of old.

    He was reader of Adam Smith ( kept by his bedside !) and saw that merchants in the 60s in HK were growing the economy themselves. And so he decided to let them get on with it without the interference of the “Mandarins”. He ecven refused to collect economic statistics in case it deterred entrepreneurs from growing the economy.

    I think the lesson is that HK succeeded as it did because it was not managed like a former British Colony-as that HK Chinese business man said-het let the people get on with it.

  24. @COLIN

    “How these people think we can compete with the Asian economies, running an economy based on that sort of culture is hard to understand….but I don’t think they care where the money comes from-so long as it keeps coming.”

    You comment is spot on, I dont think you or I or Hoody, have discovered anything new here, but the great bulk of Labour voters dont even agree with them, thats the joke.

  25. I have attempted a qualitative analysis only of the POSITIVE comments attributed to Nick Clegg on Tell you gov. Needless to say, I have not had many reds giving him positives so thi smotley list isof loyal Libs, floaters, and sympathetic blues. Loyal Libs come at from the basic premise that Clegg means weel. They recognise he has upset the apple cart thus far, and they also are hopeful that in 5 years time the country will agree with them and thank Nick Clegg… So comments about the human that Clegg is and the long term view of judging him fall into this category.

    The floating voters seem to recognise the plight of Clegg’s predicament, ie that UK is going through tough times and that the LD roll in the coalition isnt all powerful. The shot himself in the foot comment is a good one, it suggests that voters are willing to view pre-election pledges as politicla posturing. This comment treats it as a failing of Tactics, rather than evidence of moral flaw in Clegg’s character. All in all these comments appear to have the theme of a man trying to excuse hi sbeast mate’s recent philandering. Oh but you don’t see the Jimmy I see. Trust me he’s a nice guy, he’s been under pressure. That kind of malarky.

    The Tories comments are compartively speaking BRUTAL. They are willing to give an incy wincy bit of credit to Clegg, bu tmoreso their comments are condascending and patronising. Your in with us now, you can’t have it all your way so sit there and be a good boy. One comment threatens Clegg with political wilderness, others emplore him to realsie he is simply a partner in a coalition. It i sthe blue comments if I was a yellow I would find most disturbing. They are frankly, thankless.

    Now I have to stress again: all of these comments were positive. Had I posted the negatives they would have been a) of little value b) made the eyes pop out of your head. All in all the stuff below is pretty civilised.

    1. After 5 years of being the country’s saviour, he will do much better ‘than you think’ . His party will always have my vote when it counts, that is, under PR [than you think is an admission of his underperformance]
    2. Good man! We’re ‘only human’ … [an admission of his failings thus far]
    1. leading his party very well in ‘difficult circumstances’ [acknowledgement of the task facing him]
    2. He seem’s interested in a fairer for all Britain, but ‘doesn’t have full power’ to do as much as he wants. [people are believing his excuse that his power is limited]
    3. Shot himself in the foot over tuition fees [still a positive comment which suggests that the jury is still out] [this is a rhetorical phrase sued by someone who is not condemning you for your actions]
    4. it’s a coalition, he ‘can’t implement all’ Lib Dem Policies [a realistic assessment of Clegg’s predicament.

    1. Doing a good job. When you are in coalition you ‘have to compromise’. Tories have compromised, so must the LibDems. [enthusiastic support from blues]
    2. easy to make promises when you don’t expect to govern – now he’s ‘being realistic’ [some praise from blue but hardly enthusiastic]
    3. What do the LibDems want – to be cast back to the political ‘wilderness’ for another hundred years? [stark warning as to the limitations of Clegg’s choice]

  26. @Roland
    I looked at the YG figs. Have you (ever) done that?

    I commented on those figs. I believe this site exists for such analysis and commentary.

  27. Roger/Howard

    Thanks I’ll know for next time


    That das Kapital above was for you…

  28. anyone seen the article that DC is flying off to Zurich to meet FIFA officials to try and claw the world cup to England after yet again the press try to ruin it ?
    If he succeeds ,could see quite a boost to his popularity,well in England anyway may even put a couple of percentage points on the blue poll rating.
    feel good factor and all that !

  29. MichaelB,

    Yes, and I have to confess my heart sank. If it’s true that England’s chances have deteriorated as a result of the FIFA row, then DC needs to be careful he doesn’t get personally tagged with ‘failure’.

    It’s a job for Dave alright – but Beckham, not Cameron.

  30. Colin,

    Good post earlier on IDS. I agree with all your sentiments.

    It’s the same with the ‘furore’ over his use of the word ‘sin’ and the attempt to insinuate (pardon the pun) that it signals he is on a religion-fuelled crusade against the undeserving poor……….I think the majority of people here would recognise that the time and effort he has devoted to these issues, without prompt, signifies his commitment to improve the situation, and he battled hard with GO to secure the *extra* money needed in order to push his proposals forward for the course of the parliament. The Labour party have expressed their “in principle” support (with a caveat or two), and as Roland points out, the polls indicate that there is support for his intentions, including, crucially, from labour supporters.

    Yet a couple of people prefer to see it as proof of some ideological plan to beat up the poor and workless.

    it is also indicative of the current mindset that there was press this morning about the fact that he was incorrect to say that his proposals would benefit everyone across the board.

    Ah, no, they say. Some people in the 7th income decile could be worse off by 50p a week. Now I am not suggesting that £25 per annum is not a meaningful amount to many families, but it does somewhat miss the point of what he is striving to do!!

  31. Roland,

    You realise if you keep calling me Hoody I will get a hug from Dave? :-)

  32. @hooded,
    my sentiments to .I suppose it will test his “salesman” credentials to the limit.Maybe he thinks there is more to be gained by winning than to be lost by not getting it.Personally If FIFA officials want to go to Vladivostok than Wembley then they need their heads tested

  33. MichaelB,

    “Personally If FIFA officials want to go to Vladivostok than Wembley then they need their heads tested”

    Or their pockets emptied? ;-)

  34. Rob
    That is a damning comment by VC.

    Does this signal the start of a new approach by the LDs to the coalition, I wonder. There have been suggestions that the LDs should be more vociferous in arguing against the Cons’ ideas where appropriate.

  35. Just thought Eoin might like this :

    htt p://

  36. Sue,

    Molte Gracia :) ps. I can;t remember who picked the moniker Brighton Belle for you- but is is a good ‘un! You should stick with it.


    I can confirm that the Big Society is not very big :( I am one of just 5,000 members of Street Bank thus far. We missed our target of 5,000 members by last week… but this week we crawled over the line of that target allbeit a week late. An unmitigated disaster! :( It i snot too late for you to join!

  37. I still can’t comprehend why, fit for work individuals, should be paid over and above their benefits during a work placement. It seems to me, that for someone who hasn’t worked for some time, work is theraputic, the move from indolence to activity is potentially transforming….and what’s more it’s free. I have spent 6 yrs helping people into placements and seen the behavioural change reap its rewards…..people are rejuvenated. The, ‘red herrings ‘ of minimum wage, and, health and safety law, just cloak the left’s paranoia with ‘ workers rights ‘. In every case I have dealt with, the result has been a better off worker, and an enlightened employer, it’s win win, unless you are so bogged down with political dogma that you can’t see it.

  38. Ken,

    It is a good post and I have some sympathy with its sentiments… its the “fit for work” bit I quibble with. I know a lot of people who are simply not “fit for work”. Walk around th einner city of Manchester, Glasgow or Nottingham some early afternoon and you would see what I mean. I would love an accurate social profile of the people whom you are talking about…

  39. Ken
    “I have spent 6 yrs helping people into placements and seen the behavioural change reap its rewards…”

    Getting people into remunerative work is good.

    Retraining people so they have a better chance of remunerative work is good.

    Creating an army of unwaged and unprotected slaves for employers is wrong, IMO.

    Creating an army of unwaged workers to perform ‘good’ deeds (eg collecting litter) needs to be more carefully considered.

  40. @EOIN -“Shot himself in the foot over tuition fees [still a positive comment.].”

    So floating voters think NC should shoot himself over tutition fees? (the ones who are positive about him)
    I like this qualitative analysis.

    @HOODED MAN/ MICHAEL B – “Personally If FIFA officials want to go to Vladivostok than Wembley then they need their heads tested”
    Or their pockets emptied?

    Of course if FIFA officials want to go to Vladivostok rather than Wembley tit will be because their pockets have been FILLED by Moscow not emptied.
    Having lived abroad, I am always amazed at how bad we Brits are at bribery.
    Russians learn how to bribe officials at nursery school. (the most popular way is to put the money in a brown envelope under a slice of cake in case anyone was wondering).

  41. @Éoin & Mike N……The Southwark residents I deal with have all been referred by other agencies, hospitals, prisons, refugee orgs., drop in centres, etc., etc., so they have barriers to get through/over. I love doing the job, unpaid by the way, so I’m exploiting myself and should report me. I get fulltime, paid employment ultimately without fail, for the folks I deal with, so the system works a treat. :-)

  42. Ken,

    Do they have drug dependancies? Are the gruff? Is there any hygeine issues? Do they have blothcy malnourished skin? They have signs of dermititis around their joints? Is their facial skinn scaly? Are their fingers yellow from rolling tobacco? Does their coat have that encrusted odour that you know is none removeable? How much tartar do they have on their teeth? Do they cough intermitently? Are they twitchy, due to either being high or coming down? Do they have situational lapses and talk innappropraitely? Are they reduced to tears from time to time/ Do they have a hard luck story? Any outward signs of paranoia? Are they in touch with the parents? Are the elocuted?

    In short- what are we dealing with here? Among the underclass, they have their own heirarchy..

  43. Ken

    The work you do is admirable.

    But I’m sure that you do not simply place a person with any old employer. I imagine that you undertake assessments of the putative employee and the potential employer?

  44. Julian,

    Tis what I meant. You never been to a police station against your will? ;-)

  45. @Eoin,

    The people you describe would have had much better lives if someone had forced them to do something usual somewhere near the beginning of their long, torturous spiral into hopelessness.

    For the benefit of welfare reform is that it may turn some people away from a path that seems attractive to them at 15 but destroys any meaning their life may have in the long run.

    Also, in my experience, people start taking drugs when they’re happy (ie at parties) rather than because they’re sad. The cause and effect of addiction and poverty is rather the reverse of what some would have us believe (in my opinion).

  46. Ken

    Congratulations & thanks -great work

  47. Neil A,

    I have in my young adulthood a lot of dealings with drug pushers [let’s leave that at that]. They prey on the weak, 14 yr olds, too cold in the winter because their parents put them out on the street. Idleness breeds all sorts.. they have a few pound between them, the cheapness of LSD or an ‘Eccy’ is more appealing than a barrack buster [white Cider]. That is their weekly choice… They once suggested banning alcopops. The degenerates I speak of could only afford alcopops in their wildest dreams… I say half the price of alcopops, and promote community centres [with central heating grants] to get these kids off the street. Look out your window… what would you do if you were 14yrs old, part of a gang and only a few pound in your pocket on a Friday night…

    The spiral begins because these kids make the best of what they have. It does not help that pushers are ready and waiting to sell them poison

  48. @Aleksandar:

    I’m expressed myself badly…I was merely trying to say that problems we beleived were solved were not solved and resurfaced when the opprotunity arose. I hold no torch for Tito….and I’m deeply aware of the points you make represneting many lives needlessly destroyed.
    I’m sorry if you thought my words were meant to sound approving. i assure you they weren’t. john

  49. @Eoin,

    It’s the same tired old excuses. “We hang around on street corners, committing crimes and taking drugs, because we have no choice. We have nothing else to do”.

    I spent my childhood listening to music, watching TV, reading books, riding my bike and playing boardgames. My family wasn’t short of money, but if we had been I don’t think it would have made a massive difference to my quality of life.

    If those children have been thrown out of their houses, it will be because of their behaviour within it. Again, cause and effect. They are on the street corners because they are yobs. They are not yobs because they are on the street corners.

    My point is, had the paralysis of long-term worklessness in their families been broken (for example by compulsory work-projects for their parents and older siblings) they would have been less likely to fall into the patterns of self-destroying behaviour.

1 6 7 8