YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%.

On the regular approval trackers everyone is down – government approval is minus 14, with 50% disapproving of this government for the first time. David Cameron’s net rating drops to plus 2, still positive but the lowest he has recorded as Prime Minister (he recorded much lower scores as Leader of the Opposition back in 2007). Nick Clegg’s approval rating plummets to minus 22, down from minus 13 a week ago and by far his lowest ever score as leader. Ed Miliband’s approval rating has also dropped into negative territory for the first time, down to minus 9 (28% think he is doing well, 37% doing badly).

On the topical questions of the week, YouGov first asked a series of questions about the Euro and Ireland. As with the YouGov/Sun questions earlier in the week, just under half (48%) of respondents opposed Britain bailing out Ireland, with 36% supporting it. There was overwhelming (74%) rejection of Britain bailing out other European countries such as Portugal. Only 22% agreed with the statement that Britain’s economy was reliant upon our exports to other countries and therefore it was in our interests to help the Eurozone avoid a crisis, 60% think Britain has its own problems and cannot afford to help.

On the Euro, 76% think – in hindsight – ther Britain would have been worse off had we joined the Euro, and 54% think the Euro has been mainly bad for the other countries in the European Union (only 16% see it as a good thing for the Eurozone). However, there is some recognition that this doesn’t necessarily mean its collapse would be a good thing – only 26% think it would be good if the Euro collapsed, 34% a bad thing.

On the broader question of Britain’s relationship with the EU, 10% would like a more integrated Europe, 14% the status quo, 38% a less integrated Europe and 26% Britain’s total withdrawal from the European Union.

There were also a couple of questions on Howard Flight. 42% thought Flight was wrong about the effect of the government’s cuts in child benefit, and 46% thought that his peerage should be halted.

Finally, there were a series on questions on the Royal Wedding, which generally showed approval for the choice of date and the bank holiday. Only 19% objected to the idea of the wedding being held just before the AV referendum. On titles, 20% now think Camilla should become Queen when Charles becomes King (39% backing Princess Consort, the title it was announced she we would use when Charles and Camilla married, 26% some other title). YouGov also asked whether Kate Middleson should become Princess of Wales, should William be created Prince of Wales in due course. 74% think she should, 13% she shouldn’t.

178 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – 40/40/9”

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  1. “David Cameron’s net rating drops to minus 2, still positive…”. How can minus 2 be positive?

  2. christopher

    it’s positive when compared to the other party leaders especially clegg

    i also noted this “clanger”

    what does it mean when all party leaders suffer falls in populartiy. does it mean that the public are looking for new soulutions or does it just mean that “none of them are any good”

  3. @Christopher
    It should say +2.
    Here’s the link to the tables
    h ttp://

    Con/Lab 2010 recall vote ratio is back up to 1.205 so a good recovery by Lab from Thursday night. I wont keep harping on about this ratio henceforth – does everyone know how to look up the detailed YouGov tables so that you can work it out for yourself if you wish?

    @Amber Star
    Good phrase of yours – “Diehard Dems” – on the previous thread. The tables suggest the DDs are still reasonably loyal to the coalition, its just that at 9% there aren’t many of them anymore. The Lib Leavers on the other hand must be overwhelmingly disapproving. From the tables, -14% Govt approval can only make sense if the “Other” voters and the “Dont Know/Wont Vote” remainder are overwhelmingly disapproving.

  4. I would have thought Lib Dems on 9% would be worth a mention! How long before NC gets dumped….?

  5. It’ll be interesting to see whether Ed M’s perambulation around the country as part of the Labour Party policy review and consequent exposure in local papers and local news has an impact on his popularity and recognition. Going by Alan johnson’s contribution to the Andrew Marr show this morning, Ed seems to have pulled together a cohesive shadow cabinet team and if they can maintain unity and consistency this will be very helpful to the cause.

    Finally, as others have noted, 9% for the LDs is a milestone and we might expect them to be wallowing in the 8-10% range from now on. The question is can they go lower than this or is this the rock bttom LD loyal. core vote?

  6. @ Steviebchops

    It doesn’t matter if the Lib Dems do dump him – he’d still be an MP and Deputy Prime Minister.

    All that would happen is that he stops being a Lib Dem MP and switches to being a Conservative MP.

  7. billy

    if clegg wanted to be a tory mp, he would have joined them in the first place, for a smart ambitious and well connected young man it was a strange choice to join the dems where the chances of govt office were almost non-existent(maybe clegg had a crystal ball) the only possible reason he could of had was principle or the wish for a quiet life

    how many party leaders mince off to another party when dumped by their party

    ed heath didn’t
    Callahan didn’t
    foot didn’t
    thatcher didn’t
    kinnock didn’t
    major didn’t
    ashdowne didn’t
    kennedy hasn’t
    ming hasn’t either

    why should clegg

    you left wing clegg haters need to wake up and look at your own party cos all the comprimises that clegg has made are what labour were planing to do anyway

    when are you lot going to get your party back

  8. I don’t think the LD’s will dump clegg just yet. He is after all their first leader to actually get into government. That is no small acheivement for any party leader, especially a third party with FPTP.

    A lot depends on where labour are in the next couple of years, if it looks like a labour-led coalition at the next election, its possible he might be dumped for someone less tainted. If the Conservatives are heading for a worthwhile majority, then they won’t need LD support and that’s the most like scenario whereby clegg is dumped. If AV fails then his position will become harder either way.

    I’m waiting for the VAT rise to kick in from january 1st. I feel that will mark a change from neck and neck to a
    small but sustained Labour lead, for what that is worth 4 years from an election.

  9. @Richard in norway:

    If your analysis is correct Richard then there’s little point in having a party system since all governments will always be doing the right thing and all oppositions be gutless opportunists….and it’s hard I’d agree looking at the LibDems at the present not to agree that its exactly what they were in opposition.

    On another matter isn’t it a bit of a silly question to ask if Ms Middleton should be Princess of Wales if and when Prince William becomes Prince of Wales….once he’s Prince of Wales she’s defacto Princess of Wales…her title by marriage…

  10. @RIN
    Its about time you Liberals started standing up for your party and your leader. When the going gets tough ect ect. You are quite right to challenge Labour supporters about their own party and leadership, I have been totally non-committal about Miliband up to now, but he is begining to look flaky.

  11. The Lib Dems in the current form will not exist at the next election with Nick Clegg at their helm.

    My bet is that they will split, with Clegg leading one party who will be a permanent coalition party with the Tories and Simon Hughes will lead a new Liberal party.

    As for the current opinion polls, they are a bit of a waste of time, as they are not conducted solely in the swing seats that will decide the election.

    “On another matter isn’t it a bit of a silly question to ask if Ms Middleton should be Princess of Wales if and when Prince William becomes Prince of Wales….once he’s Prince of Wales she’s defacto Princess of Wales…her title by marriage…”

    Absolutely, its like asking if William should be called King when Charles departs this mortal coil, bloody stupid.

  13. @RIN

    Although it tends not to happen for leaders there are honourable mentions. For example Churchill (twice). Some people made a career, and in many senses a living doing this – Talleyrand springs to mind.

    I always love these royalist questions… Surely if you believe in a hereditary monarchy then you have absolved yourself of any say in the titles etc of our beloved monarchs.

  14. @R HUCKLE
    You have no idea how it will unravel. Its all about the economy, if the coalition policies are successful, the vast majority of Liberal MPs will be glad to bask in the glory and the likes of Simon Hughes can join Labour or boil his head. If the economy does not improve considerably (deficit reduction ect,) then you could be right. Its all about money as ever.

  15. Simon Hoggart is saying that the tonight’s ‘wiki-leaks’ will be embarrassing for Gordon Brown, but moreso for David Cameron (in terms of how he is viewed by the Obama administration).

  16. Roland on stupiity

    There’s a lot of that preceding your post today. It seems the persons most wanting to see my leader dumped don’t even belong to my party. I should have thought we were the people that mattered since only we can bring it about.

    (We aren’t going to by the way).

    I get the impression it is a signal from Labour partisans that they doubt at present they could get an overall majority and thus require a more lefty LD party to coalesce with.

    The issue that sent LD and Clegg lower is the student fee one, quite clearly.

    It is strange that it does not dent the Tory support significantly, however it means that Con voters are totally content with the policy.

    Ergo, there is a majority in the country for it, since we know that a Labour Cabinet would have done it too. They have to come out and state they would not have to be believable, no weasel words, mind.

  17. John – Camilla is also Princess of Wales… but she doesn’t use and isn’t known as the title. She’ll automatically be Queen too once Charles succeeds, but the current position is she won’t use that title either… and the reason behind both seems to be largely sensitivity to public opinion.

    RiN – the most recent former party leader I can think of who has subsequently joined another party is David Trimble.

  18. Anthony
    Contributors here know I wouldn’t care if she called herself the Queen of Sheba.

    What’s most disappointing to me is the degree of interest in the subject in this poll.

  19. “Simon Hoggart is saying that the tonight’s ‘wiki-leaks’ will be embarrassing for Gordon Brown, but moreso for David Cameron (in terms of how he is viewed by the Obama administration).”

    Old news, to some extent. First time Obama met Cameron, his parting comment to an aide was reported as being “what a lightweight”. But it’ll be interesting if some substance is added to this comment.

  20. Anthony

    I can trump you on “defecting” Party leaders. Reg Empey, the most recent ex-leader of the UUP, was appointed one of the latest batch of Conservative working (or donating) peers. That’s assuming the UCUNF experiment finally been buried, which it looks like it has under Tom Elliott.

  21. Howard,

    As a Labour Part member I doubt that we can win the next Election outright. My guesss is Con modest OM but there is a chance of us beating Cons in seats and votes hence an LD/Lab coalition could ensue.
    I agree with you that baring some unforeseen events Clegg is secure until the next GE and then his future will depend on the result. A big fall in seats and votes would probably see him go even if they remain in office through a coalition otherwise he is secure if LD/Con Gov’t continues. What happens to him in Lab/Ld coalition depends on the vote and seat count, although it is fair to say that this far out it would be unlikely he would stay in such circumstances. Not least because Llabour would have taken former LD voters to get the lead and the idea of Clegg staying would be an anathema to them.
    Finally, can someone tell me how may Con supporters (rightwingers probably) are giving a negative score to the Gov’t?

  22. Howard

    A week ago I suggested to Anthony that all these royal poll should contain a “couldn’t give a toss” option, only to discover that YouGov had already done just that here:

    ht tp://

    earlier in the week, though published more recently. As you can see, with surprising uniformity across age and region (women are a bit more interested and Tories quite a lot) roughly half the population are “indifferent” about the Wedding (YouGov are politer than me).

    Of course that was before a bank holiday was announced.

    CAPTCHA code BRRD. Quite.

  23. JimJAm wrote
    Finally, can someone tell me how may Con supporters (rightwingers probably) are giving a negative score to the Gov’t?

    6% (see tables)

  24. Roger mexico
    I ploughed through those tables (i presume you meant those for 19th Nov as your link took me to the front page) and could not find it but what you have revealed to me is at least part way encouraging.

    I suppose I could be more enthusiastic if the candidates for these ‘duties’ were chosen by lot. Perhaps a competition like X factor could be an alternative. The appointment would last for 5 years so would give a real thrill to the plebs every anniversary. What really disappointed me in the table I did see was the lack of imagination when asking the voters what alternative they might prefer, 68% prefer to retain the present system. .

  25. @Robin

    “Old news, to some extent. First time Obama met Cameron, his parting comment to an aide was reported as being “what a lightweight”. But it’ll be interesting if some substance is added to this comment.”

    I’m no great admirer of Cameron but if I was him, I’d be fairly sanguine about second hand tittle-tattle masquerading as fact. So what if someone in Obama’s inner circle thought him lightweight. I bet there were members of Cameron’s entourage who had similarly unflattering thoughts about some of the people they came across in the White House. They wouldn’t be human if they didn’t. Cameron haters will inflate it and use it against him in the same way that Brown haters trawled the Bush regime for similarly unflattering thoughts about Brown and then revelled in them when any second hand anecdote was found. It’s not real politics and belongs in the same box as the public relations and media advisor bufoons who go on about “personal chemistry” between leaders. All poltiical leaders find a way of working with each other whether they like each other or not and we spend far too much time in politics debating the sort of stuff that belongs in OK magazine or the gossip columns of the Daily Star.

    Personally I care not a jot whether Obama thinks Cameron is a lightweight or not. He’s our PM, we elected him and we’ll be his judge and jury at the end of the day. If we conclude he’s a lightweight then that will be that for him at the next election. A US President’s opinion of him, peddled in second hand and leaked documents is irrelevant to me, as was Dick Cheney’s opinion of Gordon Brown, by the way.

  26. “if clegg wanted to be a tory mp, he would have joined them in the first place”

    Clegg was a member of the Cambridge University Conservative Association in the mid 80s, but he was probably too pro-Europe in those days to stay with the Tories.

    Why would he join the Tories in the future? I can’t see him holding on to his job as LD leader if the party drops much further in the polls. And I can’t see him holding his Sheffield Hallam seat, with so many students there, can you?

    It wasn’t a “great achievement” for Clegg to take the LDs into government, it involved a “great betrayal” of policies and principles. It was merely the ‘hung’ result of the election which gave the LDs the balance of power; Clegg had been less successful than Kennedy as far as winning seats in Parliament is concerned.

  27. Bert F
    “It wasn’t a “great achievement” for Clegg to take the LDs into government, it involved a “great betrayal” of policies and principles. It was merely the ‘hung’ result of the election which gave the LDs the balance of power;”

    I think that is quite the most extraordinary comment I’ve ever read on UKPR (apart from the abuseive ones we occasionally suffered.

    I suppose Bert (welcome by the way) you mean the principle that he would recognise the largest party as having the right to form a government, which he made clear to electors. On ‘policy’ abandonment” you mean the ones that are not in the Agreement?

    As to ‘merely the hung result’ oh, merely was it, I thought it was immensely significant. Without it there would have been no ‘policies and principles’ to abandon.

  28. Howard

    Sorry about that – link seems to works for me. The publication date was 22nd – the poll seems to have been a trial tacked onto the daily and wasn’t done for anyone. I know what you mean about the 6 pages of royal polls last Sunday – that’s what prompted my “couldn’t give a toss” comment. They’d obviously already tried it and decided it would be too popular.

    Of course if we had an X-factor style competition, the poor boy would have ended up with Ann Widdecombe. It probably wouldn’t be legal under the Human Rights Act.

  29. Richard in Norway.
    Most of the former leader you list were not dumped by their parties. That list is limited to:
    Duncan Smith
    Ming Campbell ?
    The others depsrted of their own accord – so much less likely to feel residual bitterness etc.

  30. Bert,

    I think Nick is safe in his seat. A swing of 15% from LD to Con is needed for them to take the seat. Surely, if a voter doesn’t like NC in the Coalition, a vote straight to Blue would cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Lab need a swing of about a 19% from the LDs to take the seat.

    As for the Student vote, I would imagine most students are registered outside Sheffield Hallam, so can shout as much as they like, they won’t be able to vote directly against him.

    A question for someone please? Could a student change their residence address for the purposes of deliberately voting against a particular MP?

  31. Garry K

    People (like students) with more than one address can register to vote at each of their addresses. They are only allowed to cast a vote at a particular election in one constituency – but there appears to be no method of checking.

    I would imagine many students in Sheffield will make sure they are on the register there – as they will do in St Andrews and any other University Town with an LD MP.

  32. Garry K

    It will also be interesting to see how students vote in the Scottish and Welsh elections. They are fought on a different electoral register which includes all EU students, as well as UK citizens.

  33. Roger – I did ponder whether Empey counted. Trimble specificially left the UUP and joined the Conservatives. Empey has accepted a Conservative peerage and will presumably accept the Conservative whip in the Lords, but hasn’t left the UUP (as far as I can tell, he’s still a UUP member in the NI Assembly).

  34. There was a way for LDs to stick to their party policy and promises made at the election: they could have allowed either party to form a minority government and then they would have been free to vote on each bill in accordance with their agreed and announced policies.

    The fact that they didn’t do this is why the public now regard them as untrustworthy and their polls are down to 9%. Trust lost cannot be so easily regained. I’m not expected their polls to go back up in a hurry, whatever else happens.

  35. @ROBIN

    “ First time Obama met Cameron, his parting comment to an aide was reported as being “what a lightweight”.

    I think that Obama has done quite well to show himself as a lightweight over the last 2 years. He has been a total disappointment & will almost certainly serve only one term.

  36. @ RinN

    “you left wing clegg haters need to wake up and look at your own party cos all the comprimises that clegg has made are what labour were planing to do anyway
    when are you lot going to get your party back”

    At a guess – probably when Clegg hands in his resignation and Simon Hughes moves the party out of the coalition ;p

    Oh, sorry, did you think I was Labour supporter? Apologies, sorry to disappoint you and Roland.

    My answer was being given to a stupid question from Simonbchops. And the only way to respond to stupid questions is with stupid answers. He asked when would the lib dems dump Clegg (presumably as leader). My response was dump him or not it doesn’t make a difference. If he were dumped as leader it would effectively be the lib dems saying that they don’t agree with what he’s doing and he’d effectively be an outcast in his own party, so what would be the point sticking around?

    I don’t believe that he will be dumped, nor do I believe that he would go elsewhere. The paranoia isn’t generating sympathy here (especially when you lash out against your fellows).

    On another note: score for starting a debate thread :)

    Your posts are of a consistently high quality and today is no exception. Anne Widdecombe marrying Prince William, well at least we would all know the future King was getting a virgin. I suppose this means Wagner, (from Brazil) for Catherine Elizabeth Middleton.

  38. What a devastating judgement. To be called a lightweight by Obama. It is like being called a poor communicator by Gordon Brown.

    @ AW could you please cull my previous comment.

  39. Well, thanks R in B.

    (note to new entratnts Roland in Bucks)

    You asked something to be culled, hope it was not yours to me but I can survive, if so.

    I just think that the present polls are a reflection of media presentation of events rather than the actrual content of them.

    in other words, if the coalition’s programme emerges as a success (no idea of course) I beiieve the polls will move to LD somewhat. The Labour tacticals are lost ‘for ever’ until the next time they have to think whther they want a Con instead of an LD locally – concentrates the mind, that does.

    But the deciding voters don’t think about these matters whatsoever. They are more interested in whether ‘Wills’ really really loves her.

  40. Note that in the MORI Scotland poll Salmond is at +17 satisfaction as First Minister – in a different league from any other leader Scotland or England – and the big reason why the Scottish elections are still all to play for.

  41. @HOWARD
    66% of Tories like Nick Clegg. 69% of LDs like Nick Clegg. 6 yes 6% of Labourites like Nick Clegg. This gives him 32% overall. The frequently mentioned, hot sexual ” he/she left me” jealousy displayed by Labour supporters is clearly displayed.
    The people who matter, the coalition supporters quite like the bloke. They ( Labour) are making a great deal of noise to cover their own deficiencies.

  42. Howard
    Labour supporters who remember the michael Foot years will be familiar with the points you make
    Its not reality its only the media
    The voters don’t think etc
    The difference is that there was never a possibility of Labour disappearing

  43. @ Roland
    69% of LDs like NC

    That is of course 69% of just 9%, a fraction over 6% of the voting public, compared i’m sure to 23% who voted for him at the last election, yes I know they technically didn’t vote for him.
    The truth is for all the Tories and residual LDs defend him it is not just Labourites who are rejecting him, it is the people who voted for him at the last election.

    Whilst I agree the economy is all important I am not convinced even a good economy will save the LDs, it will boost the Tories though. This after all is a government whose approval ratings are still fairly healthy on a historical level, yet the junior partner is sinking steadily.

    IMO the only thing that will revive the fortunes of the LDs is to ditch NC and play a position in between the two mian parties again.

  44. I think the strangest result here is that only 26% want to leave the EU. With the current state of the Eurozone, and dissatisfaction with the EU so high, this should have been far higher. The 38% who want a looser arrangement are saying we want the EU but a reformed one with power returned to member states. That is a big difference from wanting to exit outright, and a substantial shift in opinion towards the EU. I wonder if it is the result of seeing the co-operation between member states in the face of the fiscal crisis? In any case it may mean a drift back from UKIP to CON

  45. Eric –

    That question was a repeat of a question asked in 2009. Back then only 21% went for the option of a total withdrawal, so it’s hardly a shift in favour of UK membership.

    It looks low because it’s a question also giving people the option of a looser EU. If you ask a straight yes or no on whether Britain should be a member of the EU as it is, yes or no tend to be relatively evenly balanced.

  46. Introduction of the HB cap for existing tennants has been delayed by 9 months until Jan 2012.

    Doubts about how any ‘social clensing’ of inner cities might play with voters in the run up to the May elections perhaps. A first sign of panic about where the little trickle of local election results (that one or two UKPRers have been following so avidly) might lead? ;)

  47. Labour supporters dislike Clegg for two very legitimate reasons:

    1. He said that Labour would have to change its leader before he would form a coalition with Labour.
    – Nick Clegg doesn’t get to say who is leader of our Party, that is our decision.

    2. He intimated, for no justifiable reason, that the LibDems were on a mission to make Labour the irrelevant third Party of British politics.
    – The majority of those who vote LibDem were on a mission to have three party politics; their good or ill will being equal toward both of the big two.

    We don’t like Nick Clegg because he doesn’t like us. And in the words of the playground – he started it!

  48. Anthony

    Apologies for that – you’re right about Reg Empey. Not only is he still a member of the NI Assembly and presumably the UUP, but he is selected to stand again for them in East Belfast in the May Assembly elections – possibly even against official Conservative candidates (though arguably “against” is a flexible concept in a 6-member seat).

    If he does get elected (which may not happen – the voters of East Belfast are not always kind to party leaders), this raises another question. Has anyone every represented two different Parties in different legislatures at the same time? (I thought of Alderdice, but the NI Assembly had been dissolved before he became a peer)

    I suppose you could argue it’s a bit like the Queen being Anglican in England and Presbyterian in Scotland, but still it looks odd.

  49. @ Billy Bob

    I also read that there will be about 100,000 fewer civil servants made redundant because total unemployment payments are less than predicted by Osborne in his budget; & he has come under heavy lobbying from ministers that they cannot run their departments without retaining more staff. :-)

    Nick Clegg was also saying that local councils should make redundancies at the last possible moment (after the May council elections, perhaps?).

    Willetts is on record as saying the £9,000 maximum tuition fees should not be the default amount & lower fees should charged whenever possible.

    Do you think the Coalition are beginning to see the polls as important & to worry about the strength of the Labour support?

  50. @Anthony
    You are correct I am comparing it to the last straight In or Out Poll which was 30% in and 30% out (Eurobarometer) for the UK – but the words they use are is the EU a GOOD THING or a BAD THING. Most respondents don’t care.
    So yes it is a shift against the EU then from 21 to 26% – but that still seems low in view of the current situation.
    No institution is perfect, not least the EU but I am pleased that 38% just want to reform it rather then leave it

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