YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%. It’s the first time YouGov have shown Labour ahead since the conference season.

The normal caveats apply – it is just one poll, and it could be just as much of a blip as the 5 point Conservative lead we had earlier in the week – but it does come after a week when the coalition’s unpopular policy on tuition fees has been very much in the forefront of the news.


340 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – 39/41/10”

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  1. Roger – “Celtic seats are bound to be reduced in proportion because the big discrepancy at the moment is Wales with 40 seats. There would probably be a reduction here even without the general seat reduction.”

    Depends what you mean by “without the general seat reduction”. If the government’s changes to the way boundary reviews were introduced but with the current 650 seats, rather than 600, you are damn right. There would still be a sharp reduction in the number of Welsh seats.

    On the other hand, if the government’s legislation didn’t go through at all, then there would not by any sort of reduction in their number of seats based on the current rules. Currently there are seperate quotas for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, so if one part of the UK loses population in comparison to the other constituent nations, it doesn’t see any reduction in it’s Parliamentary representation (which is essentially what has happened to Wales – the population has grown more slowly than England, so it’s constituencies have ended up with far fewer voters)

  2. Sue

    How dare you tempt us with calling the Mail piece “salacious”? I was expecting at least a threesome with a minor Royal and a performing seal. :D

    The best bit is found so far is Peter Mandelson responded to Mr Laws’s support for a mansion tax on £2?million-plus houses by ­protesting: ‘Surely the rich have suffered enough?’

    There actually isn’t much new from what I can see. As a lot of us pointed out at the time, the mathematics were what dictated the likely outcome and Labour were too disunited to provide the 100% discipline that would be required for a viable alternative.

    The Mail’s “revelation” that The Palace … made Mr Brown believe he still had a chance of clinging to power turns out to mean that the Queen’s Private secretary told Brown that, constitutionally, he had to hold off [resigning] until a formal pact had been confirmed. And even then I suspect it just means Brown was asked nicely (by that stage he was clearly keen to get out the snake pit as quickly as possible).

    I loved your piece on your “secret garden” on your blog today. One of the good things about recent hospital design is that a lot of these usually ignored spaces have been given access and made into maintained gardens. Of course the patients who can only see into them get enjoyment too. Mind you half the time they fill up with cigarette butts.

    (Have you put your blog details into the Website details under leave a reply? Then we can link direct by clicking on your name – though it might hold up your first comment after changing it)

  3. @ Colin

    I think I can pontificate on both things re: David Law.

    I often said, & repeated to you in a recent post, that a considerable number of Labour’s main characters were against a coalition.

    If you can be bothered looking back, I also think I said that I did not believe that David Laws was any more noble than politicians in general & I was happy to see the ‘grinning axe man’ out of the cabinet (although I was certain that he’d be right behind Danny Alexander pulling the strings). 8-)

  4. Rob S,

    Thanks, on the subject of ‘predictability’ I had a little bet that you would:
    a) be one of the first to reply
    b) reply in that manner
    c) not have read my post to the end (you were one of the reds I referred to in my last sentence)
    d) use capitals, at least once
    e) take yourself and everything else so seriously

    Appreciate it…… :-)

  5. @Hooded Man:

    It’s perefectly possible that Mandelson was being ironic….I doubt Mr Laws does a strong line in irony otherwise he’d never have published this drivel let alone in the Mail…most of it reported speech!

  6. John Murphy,

    I’m afraid you’ve lost me? I hadn’t mentioned Mandelson or Laws?

  7. John M,

    Just realised you meant to reply to Roger Mexico :-)

  8. Seat reductions in Wales are much more likely to hurt Blue/Red than Green/Yellow

    The later combi at 30+% of the vote have just six seats… Amalgamtion of constituencies or slicing and dicing of seats would still leave Plaid for example siting nicely. Take a look at Ceredigion & Carmarthen East & Dinefwr for example… Or for another see Ynys Mon & Arfon …. in both you’ll see that over the 4 constituencies Plaid’s vote is quite evenly shared. whilst it is the case that in 2 of the seats they hold the overall size of the constituency in population term sis much to small… they would feel reasonably confident especially in the first example of hanging on to whatever seat, especially since the demise of LD as their competitor…

  9. I’ve just watched the Blues whup the reds in F1, the Reds whup the Blues at Goodison Pk., and am now about to watch the Blues spank the Reds at the Bridge. All this Blue, Red, conflict ,can’t be healthy…..especially as we seem polarised Blue, Red, on here, Green, Yellow ? Nah !!

  10. Hooded,

    As a man who has been done over twice by accidents in th epast week alone, I sympathise. I brought a weight’s mahcine down on my back two days ago, having done in my groin three days previous. I am now well and truly crippled. :( Forget the calcs the moment has passed….. But I could use your breakdown from last night if you have it handy…

    I also cited you in post 2 of this thread, you might find it tworthwhile reading [as I did Mike N if he is about]

  11. Ken,

    Cahill scored, aint over yet is it?

  12. @ Rob, Nick H & Éoin

    What I think Nick H does not know, is that I actually built a reasonably sophisticated model that calculates the effect of potential boundary changes – based on my reading a huge amount of expert/ specialist opinion on that subject; & a less worthy attempt by me to expand the model to calculate how AV &/or an electoral pact between Tories & Dems could affect the outcome.

    It took me about 3 months of research & work to build (albeit part-time; reading whilst on planes etc). Given moe of 3%, Labour need a 7% polling lead to be certain of achieving a majority with the new boundaries & AV or an electoral pact. It is potentially do-able at below 7% but I wanted to err on the side of caution.

    I then worked out a roadmap, post EM being chosen as leader over DM. That’s what I shared on this thread, regarding the areas/ voter types that Labour must aim for to get a win & what that would mean re: % of vote.

    If AV fails, if the Coalition relationship turns sour & there will be no pact, then I will revise my forecast downwards.

    Therefore, the events that I have factored in are known events whose outcomes are unknown but whose impact is being forecast, not only by me but by experts in this area.

    And yes, I am both silly & a charlatan – but I work hard at it. ;-)

  13. Éoin….’fraid so. :-)

  14. @ Roger Mexico

    Peter Mandelson responded to Mr Laws’s support for a mansion tax on £2?million-plus houses by ­protesting: ‘Surely the rich have suffered enough?’
    ——————————————————
    This, together with David Laws reaction to Liam Byrne’s letter, suggests to me that Laws does not ‘get’ irony or fascetiousness as humour.

    Many Americans suffer from the same (it’s known as an irony by-pass, over the pond).

    On the other hand, maybe he choses not to ‘get’ it, when it suits him politically. ;-)

  15. @Amber….Without the diligence or research behind your model, I can advise thus, revise your forecast upwards ! :-)

  16. @Amber……..With all the other pieces in the jigsaw, the last two, silly and charlatan, complete the puzzle….you do it for me ! :-)

  17. Amber,

    One of the chief critics of your 10% theory is on record as saying an 8% was necessary… both plausible in my view. I treat all your comments as reasoned, as I do most posters, unofrtunately when you outline a vision it requires but a very simplistic brain to tear shreads out of it. We can all critique…. I though cher from x factor was pooh! Can I sing? Hell no!

    I have factored in 12 month incumbency trends for the past 7 elections. It is clear that in 2010, reds made a monumental turnaround…

    In is clear that in 1997 blues closed

    It is clear that in 1992 blues closed…

    incumbency gain in the final year is well established…

    thus, to me your thoughts seem very rational and plausible indeed.

  18. Roger Mexico

    Re the Earldom of Orkney

    Dangerous stuff! After all Mann was but part of the Lordship of the isles at one point, and it was shuffled back and forward between England and Scotland for many years.

    That you were bought by the British Crown may say a lot. Burns had a nice phrase for it –

    “Bought and sold for England’s gold”. :-)

  19. John Murphy

    I must say irony did occur to me as well (if not to Laws), but given the sort of things Mandelson does say and do, he’s either sincere or lives his entire life between inverted commas.

    Eoin

    You possibly right about Wales, certainly about the transferability between Lib Dem and Plaid. In these seats a lot relies on the candidate as well. One side effect of the “permanent revolution” in parliamentary boundaries that hasn’t sunk in yet is that the de-coupling from local authority boundaries and tight electorate limits will mean it is more difficult to build up the local connections and campaigning that small parties rely on.

    That ward you have be working hard on may go elsewhere because a new block of flats is built and the electorate nudges over the 5% limit. Anew area from a different local authority area may come in to make the numbers balance – a this can happen every five years.

  20. @ Éoin

    One of the chief critics of your 10% theory is on record as saying an 8% was necessary…
    ———————————————
    Really? I’d LOL but a wee tee hee seems more appropriate. :-)

  21. Two points.

    1. (Responding to various earlier postings)
    The very substantive changes in geographic boundaries that is part of the 650 to 600 reduction could in itself pose a threat to many LD seats. It isn’t the 50 seat reduction itself, but just the shake up of boundaries. In current LD parliamentary seats, they have succeeded in building up, over several elections, a critical mass of support, sufficient to overcome the handicap to the 3rd party of FPTP. A major reorganisation might mean that typically a new seat is made up of say 70% to 30% of two old seats. With some exceptions (e.g. SW and the Scottish Highlands), LD seats tend to be isolated islands in seas of red or blue, so the critical mass could be dissipated.

    As an example – Sheffield Hallam. On present boundaries, it looks safe LD. On substantively different boundaries, the new parts of the constituency would have to be drawn from surrounding Labour seats. Then who knows?

    So I consider that blues will be the only one benefiting from the 650 to 600 seat reduction.

    2. What concerns me most about the 50 seat reduction is that it will greatly increase the power of the Government and weaken parliament, because the size of the ministerial payroll won’t be reduced in proportion. So successful parliamentary rebellions will be harder to achieve. Why can’t they instead reorganise constituencies but still end up with 650 seats?

  22. Ken, you didn’t mention that the Reds were held to a tie yesterday with the claret and Blue.
    This was one occasion when I am definitely favouring AV

  23. Everything Mandelson said was ‘ ironic ‘ he doesn’t do integrity……….it’s all effect ! He is the consumate spin doctor !

  24. Amber,

    You’ll deduce by the response(s) whom I mean, when retorts return.

  25. (Big sigh). Am I the only one to see that what Mandelson said was supposed to be funny….?
    I thought it was anyway.

  26. @ Phil

    Below the surface & with their non-partisan hats on, I believe the real concern being felt in the Lords is the haste with which the changes are to be pushed through.

    The ending of the boundary appeals process, to ensure that the changes are made prior to the next election, does suggest that obtaining a specific, partisan outcome is the objective of this legislation.

    I gather the Lords are, in general, not in favour of such strategies. They can afford to take a longer view & envisage what a precedent this legislation might set for the future. 8-)

  27. @Pam F…..You just can’t trust a Red, last minute and extra time, too sly by half, for a sporting gent like me. :-)

  28. @Julian Gilbert….( Even bigger sigh ) Mandy and his colleagues are all rich, and getting richer. I’ll concede, a bitter humour, irony, anything but the truth. :-)

  29. @KEN
    The fact that he’s rich himself makes it funnier. Time for a sense of humour check.

  30. Phil

    “What concerns me most about the 50 seat reduction is that it will greatly increase the power of the Government and weaken parliament, because the size of the ministerial payroll won’t be reduced in proportion.”

    Agreed.

    The number of Government posts should be reduced as well.

    Shouldn’t be a problem !

  31. Julian,

    The moral weight of the socialist argument is overwhelming. A bit like the Brazil team going forward. Now if a team like Poland/Ireland meet them for instance they are going to seek to disrupt their attack usually by roughing it up/ fouling etc. When something is overwhelming it is your only option. This David Laws’ drivel is simply that. An attempt to disrup tthe Brazilian attack. IT crops up all the time… Hauge’s orientation, Coulson, Brown’s temper, Prescotts liking of Croquet was one such gift. As a general rule, Brazil aint that good at tackling… when it descends into that type of game, the best they can hope for is to eeek out a victory… A narrow one at that.

    Thus, as a general rule, let comments designed to reduce the game to a tackling match, go by the way side. Voters in 2015 will barely remember mandleson. He is yesterday’s man. gossip drivel seeks to take away from the things that matter. Socialists in my view don’t need to paly that type of game to win.

  32. @Julian Gilbert……I just conceded on the humour, but, to paraphrase Bill Clinton, ‘ it depends on what you mean by the word, humour ‘. :-)

  33. @Colin

    “Should” and “will be” are very different verbs.

    If you’re aware of any proposal to reduce ministerial posts then I withdraw my point. It’s just that I’ve seen nothing to this effect.

  34. @Éoin……..It’s the only game in town, it’s politics. :-)

  35. @EOIN
    Well as you say ‘fouling it up’ works with Brazil rather than playing it straight.
    I’m not as optimistic as you that the socialist argument will win on its own terms. I think rough play sometimes is necessary.
    That’s why I always liked Alistair Campbell.
    Do you think he’d be available to coach Liverpool?

  36. @Éoin………The refined and graceful winning against the rough and ready, which side of the class war are you on ? :-)

  37. Amber

    “I think I can pontificate on both things ”

    I have no doubt of it :-)

    “I often said, & repeated to you in a recent post, that a considerable number of Labour’s main characters were against a coalition.”

    You did-so that bit wasn’t salacious then ;-)

    “If you can be bothered looking back, I also think I said that I did not believe that David Laws was any more noble than politicians in general”

    I can’t-take your word for it-has anyone ever suggested he is noble?

    ” I was happy to see the ‘grinning axe man’ out of the cabinet ”

    Because he grinned?-do you prefer your axemen not to grin in the Labour Party?
    I suppose it would have been Byrne-& he grins a lot-well more of a smirk I suppose.
    The only non-grinner you have that I can think of is that tall Scots bloke shadowing Defence-yep he would have been a great non-grinning axe man. :-)

    “(although I was certain that he’d be right behind Danny Alexander pulling the strings).”

    I have little doubt that he has been doing just that Amber. But quietly so as to avoid Harmanesque insults…..what would she have likened him to? :-)

  38. Julian,

    Let’s pick the living wage for instance…

    Luton to London is probably regarded by blue as an acceptable distance to travel to work…

    It costs £95 per week to make that return trip.
    It costs £380 per month to make that trip
    It costs £4560 per year to make that trip

    Now a minium wage job will make you after tax £11k per year

    Deduct your rail bill from your wage and you are left with £6440.

    That is before you eat or clothe yourself.

    Should someone be compelled to take that job or risk losing benefits?

    Has privatisation of the rail worked?

    Is a living wage fair?

    These are the type of lines someone who has the courage of their ideology should pursue.

    David Laws? Pah!

  39. Phil

    “If you’re aware of any proposal to reduce ministerial posts then I withdraw my point. It’s just that I’ve seen nothing to this effect.”

    No-I repeat-agree with you, and am not aware that there is a proposal by the Government.

    THere should be.

    Could start with a few less photographers :-)

  40. @ Colin

    LOL :-)

    The only non-grinner you have that I can think of is that tall Scots bloke shadowing Defence-yep he would have been a great non-grinning axe man.
    ————————————————–
    That would be Jim Murphy – the one SoCaL & I have a great liking for. I’d have liked to see Jim with the treasury brief, instead of AJ, but that’s because I’m partial.
    8-)

  41. Eoin,

    I’ll check your post out….

    Last night was:
    Blue 39.08 to 39.50%
    Red 40.79 to 41.22%
    Yellow 10.30 to 10.40%

    Sorry to hear about your mishaps!
    I’m still looking for the end of my thumb ;-)

  42. I agree wit you mostly except it worries me that we might not be competing against a clean playing Brazil.
    I don’t see the Tory party as a clean playing Brazil.
    More like Italy.
    I’d ideally like to see your approach at the front with AC deployed on the wings as back-up.
    Just in case.

  43. That last post was to Eoin

  44. Julian,

    Argentina is a better comparison……..
    …….Italy is a step too far ;-)

  45. Julian Gilbert / Éoin…….. Brazil were as dirty as the others, they just got away with it because they were smarter. :-)

  46. HM
    I was being polite comparing blues to Italy. ;)

  47. Julian/Ken,

    You are both quite likely correct. Probably one of the reasons I’ll never make a good politician :( It’s all grey I’ll have to remember! :) [as opposed to black & white]

    Hooded,

    Ta!

  48. Ken,

    MY soccer analogies are not very good. Forgive me i am a Celtic fan… every time we get an artist with the ball, we sell him.

  49. Ken
    Continuing your analogy, The red ones had to don yellow in order to win against the blues in Liverpool and the yellows did a magnificent job of dishing the reds in Abu Dhabi.

    Whether there are omens here I leave to you to decide.

    I caught up with the thread just. I expect LD to stand as an independent party at the next GE with no reference to possible coalitions.

    Hope that is a clear enough answer, Mike N.

  50. Julian,

    All subjective I guess. I take badly any comparisons with the cynical, negative anti-football espoused by the Azzurri ;-)

    Although 1990 Argentina probably tops that. As a Scot I liked the ’86 version ;-)

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