Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 38%, LDEM 11%. This puts the Conservatives back ahead in YouGov’s poll after over a week of Labour leads or the two parties neck and neck.

From what we’ve got, it’s impossible to be certain of the underlying position. It could be that Labour are still ahead, and this poll is just a bit of an outlier, or it could be that there was a short-term movement against the Conservatives, possibly as a result of the protests against tuition fees, but it has faded away again as the news agenda has moved on.

273 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – 40/38/11”

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  1. @ Eoin, Rob Sheffield

    What’s made you so shy all of a sudden, has Anthony started moderating your posts? Or have I missed something?

  2. zeph

    you missed some drama

  3. Fianna Fail are standing at 18% in the latest poll over here! What would red/blue or yellow be polling if they had just led their country to ruin?

  4. That explains why everyone is on eggshells. This could get boring fast without the banter…

    Still, if Eoin is still reading, he may be interested in this article:

  5. That explains why everyone is on eggshells. This could get boring fast without the banter…

    Still, if Eoin is still reading, he may be interested in this article: h ttp://

  6. Julian

    Like the others I would be grateful if you could reconsider your decision to stop commenting on this site. I’ve always found what you had to say interesting, well-written and often thought-provoking (as your “farewell” comment about bullying above proves).

    I’ve just spent half-an-hour going back over the threads to see what all the fuss was about, and I’m a bit mystified as to what you could feel that you said that was offensive. The whole debate seemed to be between people who agreed with each other (and were incidentally all of the same political persuasion) about the need for an opposition party to have a substantial lead going into an election campaign, if it were to be successful.

    Rob Sheffield’s stance struck me as pointlessly aggressive, and his attacks on Eoin and you as mean-spirited – indeed bordering on bullying in his remarks about Eoin’s “farewell”. (Your gentle reproof of him on that score was very well put). But you say, rightly, that you would not want him to stop posting as he has much to contribute. I only wish you would apply the same generosity to yourself and continue to take part here.

    As far as moderation policy goes, I think we all have posts held up for completely incomprehensible reasons on a fairly regular basis and not even the most careful scanning for inadvertent mention of North Lincs steel towns will show why. (I don’t think Anthony knows why it happens either half the time). You just have to accept things and not take it personally.

    Similarly I believe that comments can get accidentally removed (especially if others nearby are the target) and are not easy to restore. You rightly say it’s Anthony’s choice of what moderation policy he uses, but I think you’ve also got to accept that, with all the demands on his time, his enforcement is always going to be a bit hit and miss. Again I think you just have to realise that it’s not personal and that compared to most popular political sites, it’s very well-mannered on the whole (I know, I know, not saying much). We all just have to take an occasional accidental slap on the knuckles as the price of civility.

    So I think you really should reconsider commenting here again, when the fancy takes you. And please don’t start another blog – following them all is starting to take up too much time as it is. :)

  7. Could this be the start of a social democratic alliance of the left?

  8. roger

    here something i agree with wholeheartedly

    “So I think you really should reconsider commenting here again, when the fancy takes you. And please don’t start another blog – following them all is starting to take up too much time as it is.”

  9. @ZEPH
    I do not need a new Christian Democrat party of the right. Neither have I heard other right wingers on this or any board support such an idea. Admittedly there are half wits who support KUPI, no sorry PUIK, no sorry UPIK,
    Oh I dont know some bloody thing, but they are insignificant. Why then do you need a new centre left party?

  10. Zeph

    Just had a look at Compass and it did not appeal (to me, subjective again I am afraid).

    I am far too convinced that the liberation of both red and blue strains will best take place under PR so will make my donations to Fairer Votes or whatever it’s called now. They keep sending me emails and deserve to be rewarded for their persistence.

    That’s if other priorities (son, daughter, grandchild, hobby) don’t get in the way. Did I mention my wife – should have.

    UKPR is free Hooray!

  11. @ Roland

    It wasn’t my idea. But I did read something today (cannot remember where) about Dems seeking somewhere else to go…

    Now I could offer some suggestions, but not repeatable here.

  12. It’s very welcome that YouGov have added 2010 declared vote intention to the detailed tables, especially as this data can be expected to be more reliable than that of other organisations (being derived mainly from May).

    The pattern in this indicator over the past week seems to shed some light on the fluctuations in support from Lab +5% to Con +2%.

    Past vote is extremely highly correlated with current support (generally around 90% for Con and Lab, though far less for LDs given their collapse since the election). So it is I think significant that the Con +2% poll (the most recent) saw the largest difference between Con and Lab 2010 vote, and the 5% Lab lead occured when the difference between Con and Lab in 2010 was smallest.

    Preliminary conclusions (admittedly from just 1 week’s data and without more detailed number crunching):
    1. A lot of the fluctuation is probably down to the sample. There must be a case for weighting by past vote as it is such a strong predictor of support. Indeed, it would be perfectly possible to reweight each poll based on the data now being published on 2010 vote.
    2. The Sunday Times poll came closest to matching the relative 2010 vote share for Con and Lab so (I must reluctantly admit that…) the 2% Con lead may best reflect the underlying position.

    Following the logic of this through, what could be significant is if current support changes relative to past voting share in a future poll – that could indicate underlying shifts not related to m.o.e. or sampling differences.

  13. @ Rob Sheffield

    On a previous thread you said

    “For me- like EC- I need to spend less time on this site.

    But for different reasons to him.

    Like Sue Marsh- IMO the comments element of the site really has not been the same since she left- I have become one of the 20-30 occasional/ time-to-time lurkers-posters posters rather than the 10-15 daily/ nightly posters.”

    Keep on lurking Rob, but come back to comment from time-to-time. I always enjoy your comments.

  14. @Amber Star – “… relying on Union bosses to be reasonable & ensure their members are reasonable too.”

    I have posted ad nauseam about how, if the coalition is serious about full employment, we will need a return to an earlier paradigm of working practices. (Laszlo I think, has said that current UK business model is dependent on a relatively high rate of unemployment.)

    In the late 70’s early 80s I breifly worked under a lowly department supervisor. He resisted all offers of promotion, but in his capacity as London-wide convenor was accepted on equal terms in the boardroom.

    They endured his occasional tirade, because they knew the quid pro quo was that, in pastoral mode, he would be equally indefatigable keeping all the personel ‘breakdowns’ in functioning mode.

    @John B Dick – Thanks for your post on CofS, the Archers et al. :)

  15. Anthony

    Earlier in the week I wrote I assume Anthony is busy wording-up royal wedding questions … . Wasn’t you just? Six pages of them. I was Slightly surprised there was nothing on the colour of the bridesmaid’s dresses or what should be the vegetarian option at the meal afterwards.

    Incidentally one of the questions says Kate Middleton will be the first “commoner” to marry an heir presumptive to the throne since the 17th century.. [James Duke of York later James II/VII marrying Anne Hyde I assume]. Surely William is an heir apparent if he’s anything?

    Of course the last “commoner” to marry an heir apparent was his mother (in this world being the daughter of an Earl counts as “common”). I think the last before that was Anne Neville, the daughter of the 16th Earl of Warwick, who married Edward of Westminster (son of Henry VI) in 1470. Of course she then went on to marry Richard Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III) but I think he had stopped being heir presumptive shortly before that, so she didn’t complete the double.

    Still, unlike the insertion or not of the word “cr*p”, I don’t think that this error in a question will have a massive effect on the poll result. I think, by the way, that the change in public opinion registered in your update to the TwitterJokeTrial thread, (now with added cr*p) has to be the classic example in how even the smallest wording change can make a difference.

    What would have been interesting on all the Wedding questions, would have been a “Couldn’t Give a Toss” alternative to “Don’t Know”. Though that might be an innovation that became too popular for its own good. :D

  16. I also missed the Eoin/Julian/Rob business.

    Disappointed, as I thought they all helped the general level of the site. [I am tempted to crack a joke about Irish bail outs being like the buses – you wait for years for one and then two come along in a week – but I’m not sure how it would be taken].

    I hope you all come back on here – or at least keep in some kind of touch.

  17. Alec
    What amazed me about our deserters is that they keep coming back!

    Pleased when they do though.

  18. @Eoin

    I know you’ve deboarded yourself, possibly permanently, but I’m hearing Fianna Fáil are flatlining south of the border. Since polls are carried out in Ireland considerably less frequently than the UK, tracking political performance is difficult and I don’t want to have to start lurking on and the Irish Times again, or looking for Cowen/Downfall vids on YouTube. So any hints/tips on how to monitor Ireland politics would be welcome.

    Regards, Martyn

  19. Perceptive article from Andrew Rawnsley this week:

    He’s basically saying that the polls are simply a referendum on the Coalition and don’t have much to do with the popularity or otherwise of the Labour Party.

  20. Martyn

    I believe there’s a RedC poll in the Sunday Business Post today (or so I saw earlier on Slugger). It’s not on RedC’s website yet and the SBP has this cunning thing where it doesn’t put its online edition up till Monday, but if you check tomorrow the details should be there.

  21. While we are putting out plaintive pleas, I posted on the AV developments in California and gave an interesting link (so I thought). I asked SoCal if he had any comment but he has since posted and I really would be interested in any take he has on that one.

  22. Hooded Man et al

    When discussing Mr Crow you should be careful not to believe everything you read in the papers. The following apology appeared in the Sun recently:

    Published: 28 Oct 2010
    An article on 15 September reported RMT General Secretary Bob Crow had a union-subsidised home and luxury car.

    In fact, Mr Crow’s home has never been subsidised by the union and he does not own a car, union or otherwise, and champions public transport.

    We are happy to set the record straight and apologise to Mr Crow

    Read more: ht tp://

    [their bold]

  23. @Rollers of the Duchy of Haines

    My dear old thing, how the devil are you? You know I regard you as a bit of a cartoon character and that should you not exist I’d feel compelled to invent you, purely in the interests of comedy. I mean where else, apart from in the pages of a P G Wodehouse novel, or in my worst nightmares could I find myself sharing cyberspace with a rugger bugger, football hating, ex Sandhurst army, Tory supporting, Labour hating bundle of irresistible likeability like yourself?! Could you assure me that you actually exist and aren’t some composite creation and walking cliche? Put another way, do you posess a single feature or characteristic that doesn’t fit a stereotype? You’re almost too good (bad) to be true!

  24. Latest from the Labour Party [Ed Milliband] regarding AV:

    His [Ed M’s] main priority next May will be the devolved and local elections and not the referendum on the alternative vote. He says the Liberal Democrats should change the referendum date if they really want to win.

  25. amber

    that is just playing politics

    what he means is he wants a return to two party politics and left leaning dems should get with the program

  26. @Roger Mexico

    Gottit, thank you.

    Regards, Martyn

  27. @Amber

    If you believe in something, you stand up on your two legs like a grown up and admit it. Milliband’s stance on AV is immoral and does him no credit.

    Regards, Martyn

  28. Roger Mexico,

    I promised not to engage further with Amber on Crow earlier.
    But that did not apply to you :-)

    I found a link that supports my post earlier….

    h ttp://

    No-one suggested (other than the Sun of course) that homes and cars were involved….
    ….but the key words in here are ‘figures published by the RMT’ and ‘In the view of our members, Bob Crow is worth every penny.’

    As Amber and I agreed earlier, we’re sure he is worth every penny to his members, but his adoption of moral and political high ground is questionable, for a whole raft of reasons, some of which I covered upthread….

    Everyone has a ‘bête noire’
    How fitting mine is a Crow….. ;-)

  29. Martyn

    Four legs good ; two legs bad.

  30. @Oldnat

    …The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which…

    Regards, Martyn

  31. oldnat

    what about 3 legs, is that extra bad

  32. RiN

    There is indeed a femininist perspective.


    There is a market opening for a centre-right party in Scotland which has a brand image distinct from the free market fundamentalism, English Nationalism, and Estate agent tendency in the UK Conservative party. The sucessful positioning of the past was undermined by too sharp a focus on the London end exposed by the invention of television.

    Bavarianisation (or independence) is the essential prequisite. What has the Scottish Conservative party got to lose?

    They only need three or four policies, centre-right policies, which are their own, and distinct from their sister party, and they could be on their way.

    I mentioned Trident above. It would cost them nothing to go anti-Trident. The loss of one MP’s vote would disturb nobody, and there is no prospect of being in a position to take any decison on a reserved matter.

    There must be 20 SNP rural initiatives which they could support, or do so in their own modified version.

    Anything would do really, a long as it was different from UK conservative policy, but a return to the formerly successful formula, as far as that is possible in a different century, would seem to be the obvious option. There are lots of constitutional options besides independence/status quo, surely the could pick one?

    They need to rebrand or give up.

  34. John B Dick

    “They need to rebrand or give up.”

    It seems clear that they have given up – or at least their Southern brethren have given up on them. Why else would they have given the post of Secretary of state for Propaganda in Scotland to Michael Moore?

    Mind you his crass stupidity in revealing that his own party had been complicit in sending millions of pounds worth of the Scottish Block Grant back to Westminster suggests that the strategy may not have been so wise after all.

    “It’s the happiest and most functional marriage in the UK since Basil and Cybil Fawlty got hitched. Unlike Basil and Cybil though, it’s pretty clear why the Tories and Lib Dems got married.”

    How do you know about Basil and Cybil? Which represents the LDs and which the Cons?

    “If it works out well for either party (the Lib Dems recover and become the viable third option again or the Tories win a solid majority at the next election), there won’t be as many recriminations.”

    Good point. But IMO it’s natural and inevitable that there will be recriminations when a marriage or partnership splits. Within each party there will be questions asked and fingers pointed.

  36. Interesting to hear that the UK government can afford to help out our neighbours. I gather what we led to believe about there being no money left because of the previous administration isn’t quite the truth then?

  37. @PAMF
    Indeed, which of course prompts the question why was it essential to slice some £6bn out of the UK economy in the current fiscal year?

    All the assertions and claims by the Con gov are shown to be hollow, and pure ideology rather than based on absolute and sensible financial arguments.

  38. @ Pamf

    We’ll be borrowing the money @ AAA rates and lending it on @ Z rates (made this one up), we pay about 3% ish and the Irish will be paying 5%ish.

  39. @ Pamf

    Nuvva thought, will we pay tax on the profit? Ha

  40. Average cost of renting a property in the UK is now £691 per month, 4.5% up on last year, with 7 people chasing every room for rent.
    In the SE this inflation in housing costs is running at over 9%.
    (Posters on this forum have assured me that rental values are falling atm.)

    @Roland Haines – thanks for your post from yesterday, it is good to know there are one or two of us ‘pictish’ hold-outs still standing… keep ’em peeled. ;)

  41. I don’t know about the rest of the country but Norwich doesn’t appear to have a shortage of rented homes.
    Can’t see much reality in Billy Bob’s post or how that squares with the number of empty houses in the UK.

  42. @Billy Bob

    ‘(Posters on this forum have assured me that rental values are falling atm.)’

    I’m surprised that anyone has said that rental values are falling atm as the changes to housing benefits have not even started. Many posts have focussed on the tightness of the rental market in London and the SE.
    The HB cap and the removal of the £15pw excess payment come in to force in April 2011. The change from using the median to the 30 percentile does not come into force until October 2011 and some of the other measures have no timetable as yet.
    IMHO the reduction in LHA rates to the 30 percentile will have an effect on the rental market but we will need to wait until 2012-13 for the evidence.

    I am a rent boy.

  44. @Aleksandar – Thanks for correcting me, let’s hope the assumptions regarding rental value deflation inherent in the CSR don’t prove to be unfounded.

    @Wolf – The figures are from a LSL Property Services report… I can’t personally vouch for them.
    Say hello to the ‘Fine City’. One factor with Norwich is perhaps that it is a ‘destination’, ie not on the way to anywhere?

  45. @JOHN B DICK

    “They need to rebrand or give up.”

    Totally agree.

  46. Hi I have not been on here for a while now but wanted to get some opinions. Do you think that Labour should have a bigger lead by now after all the cuts that have been announced?

  47. @ADAM

    See Andrew Rawnsley in the Indy re Labour situation or read it on Political Betting.

  48. Martyn
    immoral…no credit?
    Whatever Mr M’s morals can we agree that there is no chance of AV passing?

  49. Adam
    The Tories have as I have been posting for a long while, total or near total protection as long as the Lib Dems are there. However the next wave of elections are local, Scottish and Welsh so that is not so important. Labour will probably do pretty well.
    After that?

  50. @PAM F & MIKE N
    Please keep up the good work on deficit denial, can you attracted other Labourites who waiver on the subject ? Deficit denial damages Labour badly, so keep it up. Whilst on the subject, you presumably think overseas aide is a no no, on the basis that we should not be helping Ireland ?

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