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 5 6 7 8
  1. @Howard

    “How typical the contrast is between the two”

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

    :-) :-) :-)

  2. @ Eoin


    Good lord no! I’m with the Hoops (although admittedly there are similarities) ;)

    Thanks for the message of support though :)

  3. @ Billy

    “As Colin has neatly illustrated, the idea that someone might not want to contribute to society is blasphemous. ”

    Not at all- my response was a sort of gulp .

    But to answer your question-that would of course be a free choice, & so it should be.

    The State would of course not then want to contribute to that individual.

    That seems fair-wouldn’t you agree?

  4. i have to post this snippet from an american blog

    Too much money in the hands of too few leaves too little more in the manys’ hand to buy and drive the economy, the only solution is to borrow and repay principal + interest thereby further reducing money in the hands of the many further concentrating wealth in the hands of the few. Would any organism live if the brain, or the heart, or stomach used up 100% of the blood delivered nutrients/oxygen?

  5. Billy is a hoop! :)

    And they gave us James McCrory and Paul Mc Stay.
    They gave us “Billy” Tully Auld and Hay :P :P

  6. Trillion Pound Horror… the clue is in the title, clearly from the Reefer Madness school of documentary making.

  7. @ Colin

    I would agree – but the caveat is “not want”. If an individual does not want to contribute to society, but still does, that means the state must contribute to them, as a fair exchange, yes?

    @ Eoin

    Lol. I’ll have to look that one up later :)

  8. Cliff
    Workers Hammer? A spartacist?

  9. The fluctuations in the last 2 polls seem quite credible, if you accept the idea that the vast majority of YouGov’s panel will have responded well before the 4pm deadline rather than leaving it to the last minute. That is, the 42/37/13 would have reflected opinions mainly given on Tuesday night, and the 40/40/10 reflects views mainly given on Wednesday night.

    From what I could glean from Tell YouGov in the 24 hours up to teatime yesterday, leaving aside the political leaders Woolas was still the main topic of opinion, whereas earlier this evening tuition fees was the trending topic (along with Clegg and students generally), and Woolas had all but dropped off the radar.

    So although the fluctuations are striking, it could still be that both polls were quite accurate. We might be doing Anthony a disservice by ascribing every change to margin of error.

  10. Billy,

    Before Amber corrects me I think I forgot Murdoch.. :)

    The rest of the verse goes “and most of the footabll greats, have passed through the hallowed gates, just to play football, the Glasgow Celtic way” :)

  11. @ Eoin

    Oh the jokes one could make ;)

    Neat verse though, I’ll remember it :)

  12. @Eoin

    Surely a man of your intelligence shouldnt be using the line of “and most of the footabll greats” about a non contact sport!!!!

  13. @ Éoin & Billy

    The special relationship between Celtic & Liverpool makes me :-)

  14. @ Sue

    I’m afraid I have to agree with someone who said it earlier (I’m sorry, I have no time to go back and check who it was, but it was precise) – it was a sensationalist programme, deliberately aiming at creating “debate”, “shock”, “controversy”. It was pretty empty and they aimed to a non-existent audiance.

    However, there are some important things – primarily, how much politicians rely on their intuition. Quite frightening (both left and right). Some of these intuitions are basic beliefs in certain household economics (which is tautology, as the Greek word from which economics comes from is management of household) assumptions that have been known over 130 years that are incorrect.

  15. @ Colin

    What I meant was that the PFI is rather similar to renting out tax revenue a la Bourbons. The difference is that something more was built from it than Versailles (although these may not last as long).

  16. Lazlo

    “household economics (which is tautology, as the Greek word from which economics comes from is management of household)”

    One of the reasons I read this blog is because there always people who give me information I didn’t know. Thanks for that.

  17. Lazlo

    The Bourbons are still around – they call themselves Scottish Labour now – and they are still advocating PFI!

  18. OldNat

    Talleyrand reportedly remarked of the restored Bourbon rulers that they had ” learned nothing and forgotten nothing.” (Wikipedia)

  19. Roger Mexico

    That quote was in my head as I posted! :-)

  20. @ Sue Marsh.

    Glad to that you recommend we watch Channel 4’s “Britains Trillion Pound Horror Story” but sad that you and others still do not see the truth when it is spelt out so clearly. This programme should be shown on all Channels at peak viewing times and repeated nightly until the message gets across.

    The message is clear, the size of the State sector should be at reduced by at least 50% and quickly. QE cannot continue, Germany in 1923 shows clearly what happens when you go on printing money! The present Government is just tinkering around the edge of the problem. The solution is clear, it will be painfull for a time for lots of people, but ther really is no alternative.

  21. 40 40 10

    Just like last night an obvious outlier. This time for the red number as last nights was for the blue number.

    Though I’ll resist the temptation [snip] to link the numbers of one nights sample to a ‘final judgement’ on the proposed welfare reforms/ NUS riot blah blah blah.

    An amusing poll nonetheless


    My prediction for Saturday nights YG ST poll = 40-38-11

  22. It only just occurred to me that most of the people who are going to be directly affected by the Tuition fees, are not yet eligible to vote, so wouldn’t be coming up on statistics.

    Once this group come of age I’d hazard a guess to say the direction of the bulk of their votes will not be going the Tories way in 2015.

  23. My guesstimate for Saturday nite Yougov.
    Con 40
    Lab 39
    LD 9

  24. I agree of course with Eoin’s diagnosis of the difference between mainland and the UK. It is not just in the lack of morality that the absence of a strong Church is felt it is also in the caring community around such an institution where members would look after other members, provide the child care and the moral encouragement. Of course in these days of whatever feels right is right then someone coming and saying “you’re behaving wrongly” is not generally welcome.

    I agree vouchers are way to go, but you would need to avoid the stigmatising of those on them. My memory of the 80s when vouchers were proposed, one of the strong arguments against, was that a lot of people would be too ashamed to use them. IMO the coalition are not setting the right backdrop.

    I would agree with Phil’s analysis but reckon a mix of his reason’s and moe is the cause of the fluctuation

  25. Who needs church when there’s X Factor?

  26. Hmmm, what happened, I was referring to Karl Marx and opiates of Masses….

  27. Colin:
    First, the consensus on the various questions you raise…may reflect a common prejudice about the solution proposed.

    My response is this is three fold.

    First, these methods were tried, tested and failed in the period before 1914. It was called the Poor Law supported a concept of deserving poor and undererving poor….how far we’ve travelled.

    Seconldly between 1945 and 1964 we tried a collective approach that actually reduced both unemployment and the social and economic divisions in our scoiety. I agree that cosensus was based on the catastrpohe of two wrold words and it seems in our consummer capiltalaim it is not possible to sustain.

    Thirdly, the prescriptive solution is itself simplisitic. It does not decribe how a family where an individual has money withdrawn will be effected. It does not attempt to desctibe the scale of the poor underclass who will no longer be on benefit and what they will do. They do not decribe the effect of outcomes upon scoial cohesiveness in the social groups affected and other costs in health etc

    If you wish to use the USA as an example then you must accept widespread desitution amonst certain poor social groups.I’ve seen it for myself. It isn’t the imaginings of a liberal few, it’s there it’s not talked nad is of little interest to politicians as these people don’t vote.

    I don’t deny the problem I merely suspect the solutions proposed. I commend the analysis of Tony Judt.

    ‘Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For thirty years we have made a virtue of material self-interest: indeed this very pursuit now costitutes whatever remains of our collective purpose.’

    He’s more eloquent than me and we should remind oursleves if we fail to ask the right political questions, smoe of which may not be susesptible to easy answers, we are doomed to fail.

    The really salient issue here is that we’ve tried these simplsitic solutions, repeatedly,each time weilding a bigger stick and some carrot….

    That is all i’m saying….

  28. Bullman @6.40pm
    I agree with the point you’re making. But I was trying to say that there may be circumstances where the unemployed are placed in an environment where there will be close proximity of children (e.g. cutting hedges at say a school). I suggest it would be inappropriate that CRB checks were not carried.

    My point is that this workfare proposal will be expensive to operate. And it will be ineffective, IMO. But it is a ‘popular’ proposal.

    And we should be careful to avoid creating slave labour.

  29. Saturday’s YG…? I’m going for crossover.

    Wednesday as IMO a bad day for the gov. (Please note that any day when the people take to the streets to protest is a bad day for any gov – whatever its colour.)

    And of course it’s possible for voters to deplore the damage yet also recognise that the policy on tuition fees is bad. Plus there was DC’s faux pas. (Furthermore, a perceived failure of the G20 may harm the Cons and DC, too.)

  30. Oops, I should have said that my prediction is

    39 41 11

  31. @Mike N:

    First villify your emeny and make him appear less than human….

    It’s not a thought that hasn’t crossed my mind….

    I fear because we are so casual of history we are blind to its obvious lessons. It can’t happen here.

    I remember happy Yugoslavia…Tito’s kingdom seemed a great place to holiday in the ealy 70s as it threw off the old communist model…..who’d have guessed? I certainly knew no one who predicted it….we’d all forgotten the Balkan conflicts of the early 20th century….

    I just hope once this mean shouting calms down some one will be brave enough to to do some truly fresh thinking…..

    It seems once we use polls to assert the rightness of something we are faling to see them as an instrument for describing our views and situations and setting them up as mini-referenda to legitimise our actions.

    Churchill not a man I’m often tempted to quote once said:’referenda are the instruments of dictators.’

  32. @John Murphy

    Sadly I agree with your comments.

    Have you seen the film Sector 9? What a powerful message, and so relevant.

  33. Great article today by John Harris.

    h ttp://

  34. John and Mike,

    I have been delighted to read your posts of recent days.

    I do get very concerned when Nationally, hysterical reaction to Immigrants, Islam and Minorites such as Gipsies turn into a media-led populism. This is more apparent at times of crisis such as an economic shock., 9/11 etc.

    Germany showed us what a developed and civilised country can turn to very easily. The Stanford Proson Experiment showed how wafer thin the veneer is of what we define as civilised human behaviour is.

    So maybe I am a combination of paranoid and over-sensitive, but when minorites are labelled as ‘Work shy’, for example, and populist policies are implemented to target these minorites, I get really twitchy.

    I am not saying that the Third Reich is about to be reborn. We just need to ensure that naked populism is checked, and we don’t forget the lessons of history.

  35. Anthony Wells
    Just visited YG’s website to get the precise VI figs just in case crossover has already occurred, but they’re not available yet.

    Would you be able to provide the precise figs?


  36. Anthony Wells
    I see my post at 9.03 am is in moderation.

    I’ve sliced out the last para thinking that this may be the offending text. Is this ok now?

    “John Murphy
    “He’s more eloquent than me…”

    You articulate very well.

    I’m saddened to see divisive policies being proposed. People who think these proposals are great need to look beyond and see their effects. We are in danger of creating an underclass that can be subjected to humiliation and exploitation and be vilified.”

  37. Mike N,

    No crossover yet, but it was close!

    Garry K,

    Godwin is exclaimed too frequently on this site at the merest mention of you know who or his movement, which is not quite the ‘spirit’ of his law.
    But your post above exemplifies the very essence of Godwin’s Law.

  38. Hooded man
    “No crossover yet, but it was close!”

    How do you know?

  39. Mike N,

    On YG archive. Was 633 to 628 weighted…..

  40. h ttp://

    Mike N, here’s link if you need it…

  41. @ THe Other Howard.

    I enjoyed the programme very much , & I think the discussion on the role , size & effectiveness of The State was the most thought provoking part of it.

    The story of Hong is fascinating & those pictures of Chinese factory workers churning out busts of John Cowperthwaite was an image which made me begin to realise how difficult it will be to compete with the emerging Asian economies.

    This was put into stark contrast on reading the list of EU financed projects , costing billions of euros which it’s auditors revealed as error strewn, fraudulent , & totally ineffective & pointless. And this as Van Rompuy states with all the unelected authority at his command that ‘The time of the homogeneous nation state is over,’ & the idea that a country can survive alone is not merely an illusion: ‘It is a lie!’ .

    The contrast is stark & should worry us immensely.

    In South America, marxists embrace the market economy & lift thousands of people out of poverty in Brazil, whilst Chavez tightens the grip of the State & starts expropriating privately owned property.

    These images & contrasts are endlessly fascinating, just as the British voters are polarised as this country addresses them in turn.

  42. Hooded man

    Thanks – the archive was one place I didn’t look!
    That was v close!
    So, tomorrow night then for crossover?

    Small typo on the pdf pages 1 and 2 I think: ’10-11 Oct’ should be ’10-11 Nov’

    Re the YG stats…
    I was drawn to the last Q – “It seems to appeal to one section of society rather than to the whole country”
    47% say Cons, compared to 20% for Lab.
    And, of those 47%, more than half of LDs take this view, and 4 in 5 Lab take this view.

    IMO, bad news for the Cons and comparatively good for Lab.

  43. “”[IDS] is trying to answer the profound question urged on the young William Beveridge by his Balliol tutor long ago – “to go and discover why, with so much wealth in Britain, there continues to be so much poverty and how poverty can be cured”. Why and how indeed? Give the man a chance.””

    Martin Kettle
    The Guardian.

  44. Garry K

    Thanks for kind words.

    “We just need to ensure that naked populism is checked, and we don’t forget the lessons of history.”


  45. Mike N

    Two things:

    1) Don’t go for exact %s. hooded can get them close for you if you like but the polling police will be after you if you read too much into them…

    2).. I will have to dig around today to see the fall out of Cameron’s gaffe, Mili’s baby, NUS/Clegg/Browne etc… but, yes, crossover certainly feels a little closer [helped by Ed Mili’s absence ironically].

    The question is whether blues will go under 40? They did 5 times in Sept with YG but stubbornly refuse to do so since GO announced Child Benefit cut… Now that that might be out of the system, I wonder will the ayment of tuition fees [which are due this month in all universities] sharpen the mind of parents/students alike. We have my partner’s to pay next week [£3.5k] it has sharpened our mind :)

  46. Eoin

    I agree with observation re precise VI figs. And there is always MoE. But I wanted to record the date (if – and when – it happens!) that L moves ahead of C. Of course L could have been on say 39.51 and C on 40.49.

  47. @John Murphy

    I’m sorry but it was there for all to see. ‘Happy Yugoslavia’ was a myth for the tourists with their hard currency. Tito used the security forces to suppress dissent and his basic policy was not one of the international brotherhood but one of divide and rule.

    Internal dissent was rewarded with hard labour while Tito’s seceret service, the UDBA, were connected with the deaths of many dissidents abroad especially Croats.These policies bred resentment that led directly to Milosevic, Tudjman and Izetbegovic. Tito is praised for keeping the lid on Pandora’s Box yet he was partly responsible for the intensity of what followed. Scrutiny was favourable because he was useful to the West during the Cold War and , of course, the Adriatic beaches are beautiful.

  48. Really good news from Seoul, one which I have been harping on about for a while.

    rating Agencies are to have their powers significantly reduced. Large Corps are to be discouraged from using formal rating agencies. Central Banks are to try to use alternative methods of assessing debt etc…

    This is good news for smaller countries, who live in fear of these agenices, I for one, am very pleased, that we are to remove speculator frenzy from bodies which have fired the starting gun on national bankruptcy for countries like Greece for example.

  49. Nick Clegg rating is top of the leaderboard on Tellyougov. Currently minus 395.

  50. Garry K – “… how wafer thin the veneer is of what we define as civilised human behaviour”

    Jonathan Sachs on thought for the day… The student riot was the work of a tiny minority, but a timely reminder of the amount of social unrest just below the surface.

    I have said before that is much to the credit of Gordon Brown that although there were no votes in it for him, he protected the dignitity of those who are excluded from participating in what we like to think of as mainstream society.

1 5 6 7 8