Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%. The small Labour lead in YouGov’s daily polling looks like it’s being consolidated. Meanwhile net government approval is down to minus 19, the lowest the coalition government have recorded so far.

UPDATE: There is also a new Angus Reid poll, topline figures are CON 35%(nc), LAB 41%(+1), LDEM 9%(-4). I think that six point lead is the biggest Labour have recorded so far this Parliament, and it’s only the second pollster to show the Lib Dems in single figures. Others are presumably up to around 15%, which I think is also the highest any company has shown so far this Parliament.


197 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 40/42/9”

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  1. Virgilio and Martyn

    You both missed out Holland, so I’m doing my Old Nat bit to remind you of other’s existence.

    The party in NL is actually called Green left (Groen Links) and has just decided to coalesce with Labour (PvdA) in future campaigning. I am not quite sure yet whether Cohen wants that but am on the case!

  2. Hmmm – just watched old clip on the Beeb of VC insulting Gordy – so any thoughts I had of sympathy for him are now well and truly binned. What goes around comes around.

  3. R Huckle
    On VC’s nuclear option…

    Could this be a leadership challenge?

  4. @ R. Huckle

    If Cable claims to have a nuclear option, this must be about information he has, which could severly damage the coalition. Wonder what this could be?
    ——————————————
    That’s an intriguing idea. Between now & dinner time,
    I shall indulge myself in an orgy of speculation about what it might be. ;-)

  5. Cozmo

    I could never understand why others found that Mr Bean thing appropriate – I wonder if they had seen the films.

    I always think a good satire should go the nub.

    Bean is dafty crafty, a child.

    I would have drawn another image to indicate that a man who prided himself on financial management qualities had been caught out by events, shewing that he did not possess the qualities of perspicacity he claimed. Mr Micawber perhaps.

    The comparison with Stalin was also misplaced. Brown would have dispensed with Blair long before 2007 had he been old Joe. I suspect Mr Bean could similarly have murdered any rival without a moment’s hesitation Lord of the Flies style.

    All in all his performance, much lauded at the time, made this LD groan.

  6. @Craig

    Where I fundamentally disagree with you is on this notion that there are any longer vast homogeneous groups of voters who are the property of either one or other of the major parties. The core element of unthinking, blindly loyal Tory or Labour voters has shrivelled to historically low levels and there is a sizeable section of the electorate who now either abstain or switch their votes regularly and with impunity between the parties. Using your outdated descriptions of “natural” voters, there were as many Thatcher Labourites in the 1980s as there were Blair Tories in the 90s and noughties, only I’d prefer another description; floating voters!

    As each election goes by and as the voting torch passes on from generation to generation, the party ties become ever looser. You mustn’t get confused either between opinion poll ratings and voting behaviour at actual elections. Cameron gained 36.5% of the vote in May 2010 not because of Cleggmania, that had subsided by polling day, but because of the intrinsic lack of appeal of his party. A declining appeal that has been signposted at every nationally convened election, be it general, local authority or European ever since 1992.

    The history of the last 20 years is running full steam against your argument, in my view, but it may be one we have to agree to disagree about!.

  7. YouGov/ ITV Wales Poll
    22/12/10

    Constituency December poll (change since November)
    Lab 44% (nc)
    PC 21% (nc)
    Con 23% (+2)
    Lib 6% (-3)
    Other 6% (nc)

    Regional poll (change since November)
    Lab 42% (+1)
    PC 21% (+1)
    Con 22% (+2)
    Lib 5% (-4)
    UKIP 5% (+1)

  8. Dear God, 5/6% for LDs in Wales!

    That could leave them in 5th place!

  9. Re VC nuclear option – it’s gone now. Everyone knows the position and he’s made a fool of himself and lost a considerable amount of influence in the process.

    When I heard he was dancing on the Strictly Christmas show I thought at the time it was a bad move. Back then things looked OK, but people’s perceptions have changed and things were always going to be tougher by Christmas, only to see ministers dancing on telly.

    I began thinking about Strictly Come Dancing, moved to Dancing on Ice, and ended up at Dancing on (Thin) Ice.

  10. Alan S

    Do you have a seats estimate?

  11. Alan S and Matt

    Do you have a seats estimate?

  12. Going back to the ICM poll, here’s a bit more analysis:

    LD disclosed voting intention 10.8%
    +
    LD assumed share of all dont knows/refusals 41.4%
    =
    LD final voting share 13.2% (13% rounded)

    The ICM assumptions on dont knows just don’t ring true for me when there is such a big difference between disclosed voting intention. Some adjustment might be merited, but such a big share? What do others think?

    Anthony Wells is no doubt feeling quietly satisfied for professional reasons that all of the other polls have converged to close to the LD position staked out by YouGov a couple of months ago, after receiving such criticism at the time for being out of line. He’s just too modest to bring this to our attention.

  13. @Roger Mexico – “… while apparently weakening Cable’s position, these reports had also make him unsackable.”

    Even with his credibility in tatters he is still too dangerous to the coalition to be on the back-benches?

    I had a sneaking suspicion that in terms of personal chemistry Osborne finds Alexander more biddable than Laws (less of a threat intellectually perhaps).

    But how to replace Cable? He has a degree of public recognition (Cable’s picture had to be on the battlebus because before the debates no one knew who the young fellow was), and other than Huhne, who is there that wouldn’t seemlessly be subsumed within the Tory administration?

    Rather than “reassure voters that they are actually making an attempt to moderate Tory policy” this episode could be taken as a sign of their frustration at being ineffectual in that aim.
    It will also confirm a large number of Conservative back-benchers in their conviction that it is one law for them and another for us.

    When these questions can no longer be kept within a relationship and become a matter for public discussion, things have changed.

  14. Re the last post on ICM.

    For comparison, this is what Angus Reid found in their latest poll when they asked their “squeeze” question of 478 dont knows/wont votes. (“We’ve noticed you did not select a party. Is there a party you are currently leaning towards?”) 100 dont knows and 30 wont votes did then express a preference, as follows:
    Lab 38%
    Con 28%
    LD 15%
    Others 19%

  15. @ Phil

    478 dont knows/wont votes (Angus Reid poll)
    ——————————-
    Crikey, that seems a lot; how many people did AR poll?

  16. @Amber Star

    2003 in total – so it’s quite a big poll.

    Here’s the link if anyone wishes to take a closer look

    h ttp://www.angus-reid.com/polls/43683/labour-closes-year-on-top-in-britain-as-lib-dems-fall-to-single-digits/

  17. Secretary Cable once compared Mr Brown to Mr Bean…now he’s got one foot in the political grave I find myself saying with Victor Meldrew ‘I don’t beleive it.’

    How pride goes before a fall….back to predictions for Mr Cable….Cassandra had a problem being believed too….she brought down Troy inadvertently…Mr Cable aspires to be able to bring down a government

    I fear, like most polticians he’s predicatably over-reached himself….

    Time to grab the top hat and tails… and quick-step out of the mess…but if he’s Fred Astair who’s Ginger? Gosh back to Harriet’s dreaful joke!

  18. I’ve been thinking about the plight of Vince Cable and, as a bit of a politico, I’ve been putting all sorts of deep and meaningful constructions on his motives and the likely fall out from his current difficulties. Of course, as a politico, these thoughts are heavily laden with wishful thinking and politically convenient logic. I could even be right with some of my cold political calculations, but then another thought struck me. What if Cable’s plight is deserving of a little more sympathy, for I detect real pathos in what is fast becoming a personal tragedy.

    Let me explain further. He appears a decent person and, rare amongst modern day politicians, gives the impression of being a fully paid up member of the human race. So far, so good. As a politician, he’s agonised before; an ex Labour councillor who came into the Lib Dems as a result of disillusionment with Labour’s Bennite drift in the 1980s. He thought he’d found his spiritual home in a soft left party with kindred spirits like Jenkins, Williams, Hughes, Kennedy and Campbell. He was probably quite happy to bumble along in well meaning and Labour-lite politics for the rest of his life, never thinking, or necessarily wanting, to be in a position whereby the warm words of perpetual opposition had to be tested in the crucible of power. Assuming national treasure status in 2009 was probably the peak of his ambition and aspiration. Then it all changed on May 7th 2010 and his political world has crashed around his ears ever since. You have to feel for him, don’t you? As he looks around the Cabinet table at his new found colleagues, instead of those warm kindly faces he was accustomed to, he sees the cold faces of a host of right wing ideologues; it must be the very stuff of nightmares for him.

    A benign and well intentioned, if woefully naive, man, now essentially serving as a fast fading fig leaf on a Tory Government. How did it come to this Vince and, more importantly, what to do??

  19. Tonight’s You Gov 41/42/8/10
    Approval -19

    Cons gaining despite lowest ever Govt approval ratings?
    Disarray causing right leaning LDs to switch to Cons?

  20. Nick Hadley

    What to do Vince?

    Grow some balls and resign from this extreme right wing government which you have been helping to prop up for no good reason.

  21. Wales?
    It would seem to some in Wales that the Lib Dems on current showing will be doing well to get 3 seats
    Cable?
    Surely he would be better to end the agony? But the Tories just won’t let him. A Laws come-back is a Labour dream. Charles K is standing for a second term as rector of Glasgow U. His press release uses “independent” about six times and Lib Dem not at all. But I don’t think the CKs of this world can hang about much longer

  22. @ Phil

    Thanks for the AR link. :-)

  23. @ Phil

    Cons gaining despite lowest ever Govt approval ratings?
    Disarray causing right leaning LDs to switch to Cons?
    ———————————————————-
    That was my expectation (see earlier post today).

    I think a few more lefty Dems may move to Labour because the Coalition has reacted to the disaffected Dems revelation by going on a “we are sooo in agreement on many policies, it is all lovely.”

    Meanwhile, ordinary Dem MPs are blogging about what a sham their Party has become. One half, holding their noses for a seat at the big table; the rest holding their noses for…. well for a few of their colleagues to get a seat at the big table.
    8-)

  24. Me too Phil

    It really is looking black now for the continuance of the coalition. I cannot think what advantage VC can gain by remaining -shame that it’s often a pretty girl that does it but that;s the way of the world.

    i just can’t get the giggles on the tape out of my head. I imagine neither can Mrs Cable.

  25. Way back when I posted a link to an academic paper which surveyed coalitions agreements and their longevity. One feature is that each partner should achieve their goals step by step, and that the ‘big prizes’ need to be delayed as long as possible.

    Andrew Stunell is reported as saying that the Tories effectively blackmailed the Lib Dems over tuition fees.

    “OK, so we vote against. The Tories say, ‘You’ve broken the Coalition’. I know what they will do next: they will remove their support for having the legislation for the referendum on voting reform. Within six or nine months, it’ll all be over.”

  26. @BillyBob
    But the LD’s had a cast iron right to abstain on tuition fees enshrined in the Coalition Agreement. The problem was not that LD ministers did not vote against, but that they voted in favour. They did not have to do that.

  27. My wife listened to Mrs Duffy on PM who is mortified she may have lost Lab the election. They suck you in and spit you out.

    We will only grow up in political discourse when we grow up about press intrusion and prevenmt it. I don’t like the site of lined up satelllite dishes nor the bugging of conversations and i would llike to see that go too.

    Mrs Duffy’s nephew arrived to turf out a hoard of journalists who had simply invaded her kitchen. Ghastly.

    This comment is apolitical so I hope AW does not think otherwise. We need a Privacy Act to simply curb the press from these activities. It would not prevent Wikileaks because that is not invasion of private life, but the above is.

  28. RAF on abstention in Agreement

    Yes I agree with that becauase it is true. I suppose the alluded to blackmail was sufficient.

  29. @ RAF, Howard,

    But the LD’s had a cast iron right to abstain on tuition fees enshrined in the Coalition Agreement. The problem was not that LD ministers did not vote against, but that they voted in favour. They did not have to do that.
    ————————————————————-
    This is what has utterly baffled ‘ordinary’ Dem MPs. They say there has been no explanation from those who voted ‘for’ & they simply do not understand what is happening inside their own Party.
    8-)

  30. @Howard
    Actually, it’s funny you mention the Duffy incident. For reasons I would rather not disclose, I know a little more about the recording than most. Let us just say that GB was extremely unlucky that it was ever broadcast.

  31. Amber and RAF
    Our posts crossed. My ‘blackmail’ explanationon the fee vote is the only one feasible one (not original, others suggested it).

    RAF hints at a serendipity for the Duffy incident rather than a plot but to use it you had to be either
    a) biased for GB’s opponents or
    b) just interested in a story.

    Either way, the interests of Mrs Duffy were your last concern.

    That is what concerns me. Imagine it was your mother. I doubt if the rat pack have an imagination, just ambition.

  32. @Howard
    It’s pretty clear that the story was of a much greater concern to them than the welfare of Mrs Duffy.

  33. Saw a good quote from Jeremy Hunt:

    “[Rupert Murdoch] has probably done more to create variety and choice in British TV than any other single person”

  34. @Howard,

    I agree that the events of the past few days (in which I include the bad weather as well as the snapped Cable) are bad for the health of the coalition, but I don’t follow your “black for the continuance of the Coalition” argument.

    Surely anything which drives the LibDems lower in public estimation makes the breakup of the coalition less likely? I don’t think triggering a fresh election when you’re on an 8-9% vote share is the recipe for a brave new yellow world, is it?

    I am a little saddened, but not at all surprised by, the descent into gutter oppositionism that seems to be going on, but I rather suspect that once the initial jitters and shellshock wear off, the tin hats will come on and a period of tight-lipped unity will ensue.

    (That’s tin hats as in the military kind. I suspect the “tinfoil hat” brigade in the LibDems may have jumped ship already).

  35. @Billy,

    Putting aside any feelings you may have about his personal politics, his influence on the policies of UK governments and the wisdom of allowing him deeper control of our media companies, isn’t that quote from Hunt just simple, plain truth?

  36. No,BBC has done far in terms of variety and choice in the past 60 years, Sky have just monopolised sport.

  37. @ Nick Hadley

    What I’ve never understood about European politics in general is the description of voters being exceedingly loyal to their own parties. If that’s the case, how does one ever win an election if there party is in the minority? I figure that in the UK, even during times when voters were more loyal to their parties, there had to be some types of swing voters (otherwise how would Labour have won in 1945?)

    Also, with Blair Tories in 1997 and 2001, did any of them permanently switch to voting Labour?

  38. @socalliberal

    I saw some internal party research in the mid/late 90s that suggested that there are core vote blocks – all sitting below where you need to be to win an election. From recollection they were in the 30s and the Tories were a couple of points above Labour. You then had a soft vote: people who were likely to vote your way, but who could be influenced.

    So strategy becomes 1) make sure you get your core vote out. 2) move more people into your core. 3) move more people into your soft vote.

    there is also evidence that it is possible to engineer a Damascene conversion on certain groups. this appears to have happened for Thatcher and Blair. It’s difficult to verify if these are totally solid…

    Early New Labour focused on 3). Late New Labour focused on 1).

    There is also a suggestion that people can switch in a very strong way, they have a Damascene conversion. Once it happens they are unlikely to switch back without some major event. This is assumed to have happened to Thatcher and Blair – both got a largely hostile demographic to switch.

  39. Amberstar
    @ RAF, Howard,

    But the LD’s had a cast iron right to abstain on tuition fees enshrined in the Coalition Agreement. The problem was not that LD ministers did not vote against, but that they voted in favour. They did not have to do that.
    ————————————————————-

    Hmmm… perhaps your 1st statement above could be written as:

    “Amberstar
    @ RAF, Howard,

    But the LD’s had a cast iron right to abstain on tuition fees enshrined in the Coalition Agreement. The problem was not that LD MPs did not vote in favour, but that they voted against. They did not have to do that.
    ————————————————————-

    If they had only abstained like good coalition partners, then the Clegg brigade would not have had to vote in favour to get the bill through. Perhaps this fact has escaped you? I assume you weren’t seriously thinking that Clegg would merely abstain and let the bill fail due to some of his own MPs voting against?

  40. I can’t see any reference above to Ed Milliband’s response to Cable’s difficulties.

    While I have been critical of a number of missed oportunities for the opposition recently, I think EM’s attack line on this has been inspired, especially so in light of this morning’s further quotes from Lib Dems. It’s now much easier to paint the Tories as right wing and extreme, as even government ministers seem to share this view. If this gets any traction, and over the coming months I think it will, it will greatly help Labour’s chances when we next go to the polls.

    Clegg is the big loser from this. Ever since the Rose Garden lovefest he has specialised in a slightly nauseating insistence that the coalition is wonderful, everyone trusts each other, trebling tuition fees is great news, and the IFS and everyone else is wrong when they say benefit cuts will increase poverty etc.

    We now know that none of his ministers or MPs believe this, and I’m afraid the guy has morphed from the leader of ‘new politics’ to a shifty and untrustworthy PR mouthpiece, spouting rubbish he doesn’t believe in (or maybe he does?).

  41. SLIGHT CORRECTION BELOW.

    Amberstar
    @ RAF, Howard,

    But the LD’s had a cast iron right to abstain on tuition fees enshrined in the Coalition Agreement. The problem was not that LD ministers did not vote against, but that they voted in favour. They did not have to do that.
    ————————————————————-

    Hmmm… perhaps your statement above could be written as:

    “But the LD’s had a cast iron right to abstain on tuition fees enshrined in the Coalition Agreement. The problem was not that LD MPs did not vote in favour, but that they voted against. They did not have to do that.”
    ————————————————————-

    If they had only abstained like good coalition partners, then the Clegg brigade would not have had to vote in favour to get the bill through. Perhaps this fact has escaped you? I assume you weren’t seriously thinking that Clegg would merely abstain and let the bill fail due to some of his own MPs voting against?

  42. FWIW TellYouGov shows VC rating at -703 this morning. The only other person to plumb such depths recently was Nick Clegg during the storm over tuition fees.

  43. Peter Lilley, (hug Lib Dems closer and fight the next election together) has been on the airwaves saying the Telegraph revelations are a good thing and will strengthen the coalition.

    Can we Labourites get in on the act? In the interests of unity let me be the first to say “Ed Miliband is not to be trusted, and Alan Johnson is out of touch with ordinary people.” :)

  44. @Billy Bob
    LOL.
    – – – and the Gordy / Duffy incident was an example of frankness and honesty – off the same barrow as VC’s comments.

  45. @Alec – “I can’t see any reference above to Ed Milliband’s response to Cable’s difficulties.”

    A discussion of Ed Miliband (quick off the mark about how VC has “apparently broken the ministerial code” and therefore Cameron wrong to keep him) was on the previous thread.

  46. @BT says
    “If they had only abstained like good coalition partners, then the Clegg brigade would not have had to vote in favour to get the bill through. Perhaps this fact has escaped you? I assume you weren’t seriously thinking that Clegg would merely abstain and let the bill fail due to some of his own MPs voting against?”
    ______________

    Which really just exposes the hypocrisy of the whole agreement, namely that it was effectively to ensure that tuition fees went through, and all the rest was just window dressing to make the LDs look and feel better.

  47. @ Duncan

    Fascinating. It seems to me that Thatcher’s appeal was never as strong as Blair’s and she benefitted more from an unpopular opposition. Blair on the other hand embodied this positive self-image of late 90’s/early 2000’s Great Britain that voters related to. In terms of turning out the core voters, I can see why New Labour attempted to do this at the end. Their own core of voters was disillusioned.

    With the soft voters, are there attempts to woo over soft voters who are leaning in the opposite direction?

  48. How many Labour MPs voted against the increase even though they secretly support it? And why weren’t the Telegraph sending floozies round to giggle with them?! Hypocrisy cuts both ways and Labour have been sailing extremely close to the line themselves. They’ve only got away with it because they’re no longer the government and therefore hypocrisy becomes a legitimate opposition tactic.

  49. @SocialLiberal

    “What I’ve never understood about European politics in general is the description of voters being exceedingly loyal to their own parties. If that’s the case, how does one ever win an election if there party is in the minority? I figure that in the UK, even during times when voters were more loyal to their parties, there had to be some types of swing voters (otherwise how would Labour have won in 1945?)
    Also, with Blair Tories in 1997 and 2001, did any of them permanently switch to voting Labour?”

    You’ve done it again and made my point much more eloquently than me! The 1983 and 1987 elections were interesting ones (1979 to a lesser degree) in the sense that we saw a seismic shift in voting behaviour amongst certain categories of the population. Thatcher attracted significant numbers of “blue collar” voters to the Tory cause, people who Labour would probably have regarded as their “own”, or natural voters, up to then. Maybe some returned to their natural home in 1992 or 1997, who knows, and maybe some 1997 “Blair Tories” did likewise in 2005 and 2010, but the point you make is entirely true. If you didn’t get swing voters then governments would never change hands between parties.

    To be honest, I’ve always thought far too much is made of these supposedly core elements of a party’s electoral support, particulary in these political times when there is so much fluidity and volatility in voting behaviour.

  50. @ Howard

    “My wife listened to Mrs Duffy on PM who is mortified she may have lost Lab the election. They suck you in and spit you out. ”

    She kinda reminds me of Joe the Plumber…..except I think she’s actually employed. And she never claimed to be a brilliant economist.

    I doubt she cost Labour the election. I mean, Labour gained her Rochdale seat which they had lost in 2005. If there was any seat where Gordon Brown accidentally leaving his mic on would have cost votes, it would have been Rochdale.

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