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”

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  1. @ Neil A

    Yes, those figures are horrific, but cannot be classified as debt, rather than perpetual right for drawing on from state revenue

  2. @Laszlo,

    That’s true of the pensions, but surely PFI is just debt by any other name?

  3. It’s really quite a shocking programme – do watch some of you.
    They are implying the total debt is all government debt – it’s scaremongering on a new LEVEL!
    Did Coulson write it?

  4. Now they’re calling QE fraud – calling it counterfeit money!!!!!

  5. “Britain faces economic ruin” please someone tell me I’m not dreaming this programme??

  6. I’m in favour of the QE carried out by Darling, but surely counterfeit money is one way to describe it?

    Like paying for your McDonalds with a fake note, but fully intending to replace it with a real one when you’ve got the money…

  7. Can anybody supply any real evidence (I know that the government does not have) how many people can actually be coerced to work?

    I know that a large number of companies advertise jobs at job centres, only because they have to. Applications from peope sent by JCs are destined to the round file.

    There is simply not enough jobs that provide living at the standards expected in this age of history here.

    Hospitality and retail sector expects 28% labour turnaround a year – so, the people who do not refuse the work to stack shelves at a supermarket (use to be a skilled metalworker, started retraining, then the course is abandoned thanks to the devine intervention of VC) will have about 6 weeks work at the minimum wage.

  8. Speakers so far : Norman Lamont and Geoffrey Howe, hmmmm

    They’re presenting it like a documentary when it’s just a party political broadcast. I’ll shut up now, but I’m extremely shocked.

  9. Neil A,

    did you know that the UK had the lowest malnutrition leves in the world when the rationing programme was in place.

    I hope Colin can verify if he is on that I have long supported vouchers in extreme cases to change lifesytle habits…

    it is better than taking their benefits off them.

  10. @ Sue

    I will watch it on +1 – sounds strange. Counterfeit money is wrong expression. But it is certainly true that the BoE has no control how much value now the pound has.

    @ Neil A

    My point is that you don’t return the capital in these cases – only a long period in which the “lender” can draw a certain sum of money from the revenue of the government.

  11. John Murphy

    “If ‘work’ is the single measure of who we are and what we are worth then we miss the singular beauty and value of living.”

    You may be right.I would certainly agree with you wholeheartedly

    I doubt anyone is arguing that it is the single measure. For some it is. For many their leisure time provides those measures.

    It isn’t an issue -at least not a political issue.

    The issue is whether The State , with funds provided by taxpayers, should fund a lifestyle which excludes work by choice.

    I think there has been a consensus on that for a very long time & the answer is no.

    Given that consensus, the question arises, should the State financially assist those who are seeking work.
    Clearly there has been a consensus on that for a very long time.

    There now arises a further question-should State financial assistance during search for work have conditionality attached to it?

    THe consensus here is more recent, and has gathered pace & focus. But there is a political consensus here too now.

  12. Surely in a fiat currency, money printed through quantitative easing is just as much “real” money as money printed at any other time?

  13. @Eoin,

    Even vouchers can be abused, though. I remember a very sad case I dealt with where a mother was watering down her free baby formula to less than half strength, in order to free up some of her vouchers for fresh milk for her tea and cerals, so she could free up some of her benefits for fags and sweets.

    Mind you she was truly awful. She would also sell her son’s birthday and Christmas presents from the extended family, in order to buy more fags and sweets.

    She was the only person I ever actually convicted of Child Neglect (as opposed to assault). The only reason she didn’t go to prison was the fact that her son said in the video interview “I don’t want my mum to go to prison or anything”. The judge specifically told her that that one sentence had spared her from the slammer.

    Sorry, nostalgia moment prompted by the memory of milk vouchers…

  14. Oh look, Nigel Lawson just popped up, what a surprise. Where IS Howard when I need him?

  15. Laszlo

    ” perpetual right for drawing on from state revenue”

    Only excercisable because, today’s politicians grant those “rights” as a liability of future taxpayers, as yet unborne, who do not vote.

  16. Neil A,

    Correct vouchers can be abused… I wheeled and dealed in dinner tickets in my youth.. bought out of date ones at knock down prices and then cashed them in at full value to the dinner ladies who doted on me..

    I also recollect converting the old milk vouchers into cash payments…

    Tidy sums made in both cases.

    But that’s not the point, you are making a stand against these people taking the whole thing for granted. None of us want that…

    But equally, none of us want them to go without… in the mouth of xmas a depressed single mum not being able to feed her children because the government removed her benefits because she refused work, on account of inadequate childcare, or mild-medium health problems.

  17. @Eoin,

    Don’t worry, I agree with you ;)

  18. @Laszlo – “Unemployment benefit is immoral per se, but it’s moral, moreover a virtue in the current business model of the UK ”

    I may be stretching the point but… almost something noble about these people ‘enabling’ the lifestyle and dignity of the rest.

  19. @ Éoin,

    They all ready contribute to society.. child reaering creates a future tax contriubutor… every JSA claimant who is a parent, is helping contribute ot the tax aintake and the future prosperity of the nation…
    At which point did I say that child rearing was idleness?

    I set aside your comment about VAT, I am talking about people contributing their effort & abilities.

  20. Neil A,

    Thanks :)

    an outrageous point coming up but one i feel compelled to make. If roland was on I venture to say he would back me up…

    In Northenr Ireland we have poverty of that there is no doubt. shocking poverty at times. But at the same times, our parents rarely drink (at the very lowest end of the scale0, we are brow beaten in and out of church every Sunday.. our school uniform would rival a US Marine for its cleanlieness and we had 4 square meals a day… At 8.10am 1pm 5.30pm and 9pm i had a meal 30 seconds either side of that all my life. It is quite common. We were made pray daily etc etc… or vernacular and pronounciation was battered into us.

    I just wonder if there is a moral vechile lacking in England. I know you lot have given up on the church. I accept that. But the gap it has left has exaccerabted issues that we escape. NI is by no means perfect but we do have a lot a lot of working class pride, that I did not observe in Notts, Glasgow for example.

    apoligies if that is quite an insult.

  21. @Eoin,

    It’s not insulting. The “problem” is widely recognised. The blame for it is put either on the liberal values of the 60s, or the loss of heavy industry under Thatcher, depending on one’s political prejudice.

    I am less interested in what caused it, than in what can be done about it. I think an “excuse” culture can be bad for the very people it’s trying to help.

  22. @ Billy

    As Colin has neatly illustrated, the idea that someone might not want to contribute to society is blasphemous. So I was wondering what is so wrong about not contributing to society – if there is one, because as Mrs T said “There is no such thing as society.” So what exactly are we/are we not contributing to?
    I think this is too big a subject for this forum.

    I would love to opine on this subject but it would run to pages & it’s unlikely anybody would want to read it. 8-)

  23. YouGov 40/40/10

  24. We were watching the Nature (Autumn Watch, real Lord Reith stuff) but you would have known that wouldn’t you?

    Don’t see any guesses yet. Mine was 43 36 10. (extra point Con for fire extinguisher) – and yours people?

  25. Howard, I guess 40/40/10 ;)

  26. Ha, how ironic. People have been predicting a 40/40/10 for ages and when we finally get one it’s a surprise!

  27. Laszlo – PLEASE do watch it, I can’t believe what I was hearing. I’d be very interested to hear what you think.

  28. I see the score up [tks MV].

    I’d have gone 42-38-11—-

    but i’ll take 40 40 10 :) :) :) :) :)

  29. They used to say during the George Brown era that if you had fewer than half a million unemployed, you needed an Incomes Policy. Above that you probably didn’t need to bother. But with much better benefits making work seeking a more marginal activity, it’s the fact that we do not have effective collective bargaining any more that is the clue, plus the min wage introduction. Times change but issues don’t.

  30. @ Sue

    It is full of Tory ex-chancellors, you already know what I think. ;-)

  31. Aw shucks you all knew, cheats the lot of you :-)

  32. So we learn that the PM’s new quiff hasn’t worked, the EM baby does?

    Or does extreme vioplence pay?

  33. Hatty Harman Tanked Clegg :) :) :) Go Hatty! [I predict a riot]

  34. @ Éoin

    Hatty Harman Tanked Clegg.
    She did – & it is the first time I have seen Clegg look shame-faced in the HoC.

  35. Hatty Harman stood in her Pew
    She said to Clegg how do you do
    Upon chat about fees
    She said oh Please!
    Aint you just a blue? :)

    40 40 10 :)

  36. Wow

    What a stimulating, thought provoking, informative programme.

    C4 too !!

    That HK story-terrific-one up to Scottish Liberal civil servants who are devotees of Adam Smith.

    Have we got any of those ?


  37. The C4 programme you were watching, into which i have dipped, is simply an hour long PPB. I presume it will be followed next week with a contrary view. (??)

    In fairness it did not purport to be even handed about the subject so you all knew what to expect (see TV Guide).

    We cannot conclude other than the almost crossover is funded by a riot.

  38. @Sue Marsh

    “They’re presenting it like a documentary when it’s just a party political broadcast. I’ll shut up now, but I’m extremely shocked.”

    Don’t get too worked up about this. Channel 4 quite often use their 9.00pm “Dispatches” slot for polemical documentaries. In fairness, they’ve done some left-leaning ones in the past too, and they make no claim to objectivity and partiality. In fact, I quite like them, as irritating as they can sometimes be, and I think there is always a place in our free media for proselytising of this sort. It’s healthy as long as it doesn’t masquerade as news reporting. That’s Fox News and Daily Mail territory!

    Good to see the Brighton Belle posting again, by the way!

    As for tonight’s poll, it’s not worth commenting on really. The phoney war marches on!

  39. @ Éoin,

    Do you know where the approval ratings are?

  40. Colin’s and my posts crossed. How typical the contrast is between the two. :-)

  41. Well, my usual caution about taking one poll’s result… But this is in line with the trend.

    And it could well be that we’ve had that final one cut too many, and a nasty scary tuition fee bomb dropped in the laps of middle class families could well be that final straw.

  42. Amber


  43. @ Howard

    We cannot conclude other than the almost crossover is funded by a riot.
    Labour got it right on this. Ed M kept quiet; Ed Balls stated the obvious in passing, whilst asking Theresa May what the government’s plan for riots was (thereby suggesting that it may not be an isolated incident).

  44. @ Amber

    “I think this is too big a subject for this forum”

    Fine, be a killjoy :p

  45. @ Éoin,

    Thanks :-)

  46. well i got it badly wrong with 43,36,12, so was yesterday a blip or is today a blip


    your program sounds scary, but the reality is probably worse

    i’m listening to an interview with a hedge fund manager, he sounds like a Marxist. what he talking about is market bubbles,

    i heard on the radio today, the head of the world bank talking about going back on the gold standard!

    also on the radio, 15% cut in federal budget and that’s on top of the cuts to state budgets, i think that california was talking about 20%, socal will correct me if i’m wrong, but most of the states are in the same difficulties

    well that’s enough doom and gloom for the mo

  47. Billy,

    I am in an alliterative mood… She aint being a killjoy… she’s being a kilroy.. :)

  48. @ Eoin

    Well I know he hasn’t had the best start as manager of Liverpool, but surely that’s going a bit too far ;)

  49. Billy,

    Are you a pudlian, I did not know. Nil Statis nisi optimum :) ;)

  50. That’s more like it, was getting worried it was appearing a trend to the right, would seem to be margin of error, have to see if this is maintained. All very symmetrical.

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