Tonight’s YouGov/Sun voting intentions are CON 37%, LAB 42%, LDEM 11%. Still bang in line with the five point Labour lead YouGov have been showing of late. The 11% for the Liberal Democrat is, incidentally, the highest YouGov have shown them at since early December, though as always, I wouldn’t start drawing conclusions about a Lib Dem recovery until it’s confirmed by further polling.

234 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 37/42/11”

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  1. @ Neil A

    If you saw my cheeky comment before Anthony moderated it, please accept my apologies. ‘Twas intended to be funny but I must admit, it wasn’t really.

  2. Tories switching to Lib Dems – it seems to be part of a trend! Remember Oldham?

  3. I see no reason why the LibDems should not bounce back. The latest GDP figures, and the parlous state of the economy, will be blamed on the Tory part of the Coalition.
    I was amused at the snow excuse though, it wasn;t snowing in October or much of November. The Tax rises have yet to hit and suppress demand too – but the growth in manufacturing is encouraging

  4. Stephen,

    Yellows were 7% in some polls..

    Now they are 15% with ICM.. its a 2% upward trend at the same time YG show a 2% upward trend…

    In polling, forget which pollster is the most accurate, trends are everything.

    Yellow for the first time in 9 months are trending upwards.

  5. @ Alec – Please don’t give me any credit yet.

    I understand….I may have been getting ahead of myself!

    But you’re too modest – you did I foresee that DC was setting himself up for a potential hit on the NHS even before Lansley had announced anything.

    Maybe after todays news we might see a bit of a boost for both Labour and the LibDems from the Tories.

    I think we might see Tory 34, Labour 35 LibDem 11

  7. @Greenbenches

    I’m not surprised at this. I thought the NHS reforms and Coulson might allow the lib dems to recover a bit.

  8. A Brown,

    SNP/Plaid on 4% is interesting.. yellow recovery is not hurting the Celts. Mind you, UKIP on 2% loss whiffy..

    Reds switching their guns to blue is the main cause I think.

  9. @Laszlo

    I wrote the below before I noticed your post, so apologies if it’s contradictory/repetitive.


    I wasn’t blaming socialism: I was pointing out that Amber’s putative socialist solution was irrelevant because it cannot address the problem of overvalued assets. See below for more details.


    You said “…I understand the situation is bad, but if Osbourne does his job well and can sell of the banks at a reasonably price, a huge lump of ‘debt’ disappears. It’s also worth noting that a perfectly secure and profitable bank will have liabilities more than ten times assets. It’s how we make credit…”

    I know how credit is made: I had the talk from my Mum when I was ten about how two capitalists get together and share a special hug, and fractional banking is born. My point is that the banks on the UK’s books (Northern Rock, B&B, Lloyds, RBS) are vastly overvalued, even taking that into account. To convince you, let’s look at an example.

    * The “bad bank” containing the gently-glowing remains of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley is called “Northern Rock (Asset Management)”.
    * It’s making pre-tax profits of about £700million per year.
    * Problem is, it’s on the UK Government’s books at about £130billion.
    * At that rate, it’ll pay off the debt by, wooo, 2190 AD? About two centuries. Oh God.

    There’s no way you can legitimately value that at £130billion, it’s nowhere near. It’s like valuing a second-hand taxi at £130,000 because you get £700pa in fares, it’s just silly. But that’s what it’s on the books at.

    And those are the two smaller banks. Let’s look at the bigger ones, Lloyds and RBS.

    Lloyds and RBS are ten times bigger than Northern Rock and B&B. Lloyds and RBS are on the books for £1.3trillion, at which point vocabulary fails and we peter into silence, wordless. There’s no way you can get £1.3 trillion for that – who is Osborne going to sell it to, God? Even if Lloyds&RBS had the mortgage on every single house in the UK, it wouldn’t be worth that. The UK would have to undertake QE continually for over three years just to electronically magic up the money (don’t ask me how long it’d take to physically print it). Valuing it at £1.3trillion is beyond silly. But that’s what it’s on the books at.

    Anthony enjoins us to engage in non-partisan debate, and curiously enough, this is where we arrive at. Those numbers are so big, politics becomes irrelevant. In Ireland, politics has effectively disappeared: the only decision left is whether to pay off the debt (and, if so, how fast), and every solution leads to the same point – somebody gets hurt and the debt is unpaid, because it’s just too big. The UK now has a similar problem: how to get the debt down, how to get those banks off the books. And every solution (currency destruction, socialist nationalisation, forced freemarket privatisation, whatever) leads to the same point – somebody gets hurt and the debt is unpaid, because it’s just too big.

    Regards, Martyn

  10. @ Socalliberal

    “What it might come down to is this, the economy, once in recession, was recovering and growing again and unemployment was starting to decline. This cost massive amounts of money which the current government came in promptly to cut. Now the economic progress might reverse itself overnight (I say might because growth figures can revise upwards and there would have to be two quarters of negative growth in order to count as a double dip). If the spending cuts are responsible for this, then the current government should take the blame.”

    I think the recovery was rather weak, driven by two factors: construction (government orders) and exports (weak pound). Construction has a major effect on other sectors and in the last 18 months in government Labour started to build a different economic impetus for 2011 (it’s a different question if it was viable). Apart from these the economy was not surging ahead… And then taking out 6 billion mainly from investment… It had its effect. Now, it’s exports…

  11. @ Martyn

    Yes, there is no way to gain that sort of money when selling these institutions, but I doubt if it was the intention. In any case, the way it was calculated (the shares) did not even come to the calculations. It was simply: building up risk reserves and maintaining liquidity.

    I would not be surprised, if (big if) when it comes to privatising these stakes a part of the debt would become mezzanine or would become interest free debt with annual depreciation.

    Cutting up the banks, while would reduce the value, at least in short term, could have a rather positive influence on the valuation of the government’s “investment”. Retail banking can be made into a nice, constantly milk producing cow. It would have have a fantastic, huge profitability ratio, but it does not need it – the amount of profit would be massive.

    Or the government (I’m afraid I cannot see this government doing such a thing) could utilise these banks to transform the English financial system – encouraging banks to lend long-term investment funding to companies in exchange of shares and similar things. It could create stable financing for those medium sized firms that cannot go for IPO, do not generate sufficent investment fund internally and owned by orphans, so they cannot go to the family to get money and have no connections to solicitors who have business angel networks.

  12. Just been watching Channel 4, where they mentioned that Germany’s economy grew by 0.5 % and that the snow there was a lot worse than here given that in Germany they ran out of salt!

  13. Bring back Gordie!

  14. We’re just seeing a slight shift between blues and yellows with both ICM and YouGov. It’s entirely understandable now that the media focus is off tuition fees. Lab at 39% remains their highest with ICM since the GE.

    What still concerns me about ICM’s methodology is that whether 90%, 35% or 1% of 2010 LD voters still support their former party, ICM would still assume that exactly the same 50% of 2010 LDs who now say they don’t know who they will vote for will in fact vote LD.

  15. I’ve been wondering whether Osbourne has erred today on his response to the GDP figures. The attempt to blame this all on the weather isn’t going down brilliantly in the press – not quite there yet, but it’s along the same ines as ‘green shoots’ and ‘a price worth paying’.

    It strikes me that this is part of the politicians disease of the upper news cycle – with the classic symptom of feeling the need to go out and control the headline on every hourly news bulletin.

    Someone in the Tory press office has come up with the brilliant idea of blaming the weather, but I can’t help feeling that they should be honest and just admit its not good, accept that the weather has played a small part but understand that we’re in tough times.

    The trouble is that this is difficult for them after Cameron told us the economy was ‘out of the danger zone’ only last month. That was another headline they were chasing, but together they provide a classic example of how micro managing the media just ends up tying you up in knots.

    @martyn – don’t disagree with your last post. It is a mess.

  16. martyn

    your humming my tune

  17. Laszlo

    I like your thinking. If only we had some thinking like this at the heart of Government.

    Or even in opposition.

    Nationalised banks can drive all sorts of growth. Provided you never ever let them be “outsourced”.

  18. @Gary Gatter – “Germany’s economy grew by 0.5 % and that the snow there was a lot worse than here given that in Germany they ran out of salt!”

    Also worth noting that UK retail sales grew by 1.5% in December.

  19. whoops I meant to say 35/45/11 on my prediction post

  20. @ Martyn

    I wasn’t blaming socialism: I was pointing out that Amber’s putative socialist solution was irrelevant because it cannot address the problem of overvalued assets. See below for more details.
    Of course socialism addresses the issue of over-valued assets. The state nationalises, without compensation, everything that is required by society. There is no need to put a monetary value on things that will not be bought or sold therefore assets cannot be ‘over-valued’. ;-)

  21. @Stephen W

    Forget about the Lib Dems.

    a) Labour lead on ICM is up to +4 from last month’s +2.

    b) Labour lead up on YG is up from less than 1% in the week of 13th December to +5 now.

    The most interesting “trend” is not the shuffling of deckchairs going on between the two conservative-led government parties but the clear “trend” of an increasing Labour lead over the last month.


  22. @Laszlo

    you are singing a favourite songsheet of mine- great post thanks!

  23. @Nick Poole

    “Andy Gray sacked from Sky Sports after off line comments recorded and broadcast by Sky a la Gordon Brown.
    Andy Gray suing News Of The World for hacking into his voicemail.Connected?”

    I thought precisely the same: though he deserved the sack. Lets hope the gorilla also gets the chop as he was almost as bad.

    But I cannot see SKY leaking the footage (from a month ago) had Gray not decided to sue news international.

  24. @ Amber

    “The state nationalises, without compensation, everything that is required by society. ”

    And writes off the liabilities :-)

  25. it is rumoured that the Mubarak’s have left cario and maybe heading out of the country

  26. @RiN

    “it is rumoured that the Mubarak’s have left Cairo and maybe heading out of the country”

    If so that is amazing- perhaps Jordan next.

    It will be interesting to see if the Islamists make a move in Egypt or Jordan- where they have a better chance of mixing it up chaotically via their nihilism than in Tunisia.

    I was really struck when watching the Tunisia footage by the lack of veils and beards on the streets; of women with long free flowing hair protesting freely in the streets alongside the men. Especially when compared with places such as Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Gaza.

    Heart warming.

  27. At what point in this global debt mess does everyone get together and write off large chunks owed to each other?

    Our deficit is over £100bn. Our national debt is in the (US) trillions. And we think austerity budges will bring us back into line?

    You might say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one…

  28. @ RinN

    Ah, I see what you mean. Sorry, more a problem with my phrasing than anything else.

    Don’t worry, I’m under no illusions that QE is a Keynesian policy nor do I believe that the New Keynesians are actually Keynesians :)

    But I agree. Unfortunately Keynes is probably going to take the rap for this, whilst Friedman and the Monetarists (who should be the ones taking the blame) are going to ride off into the sunset.

  29. Somebody left this comment on the Guardian poll and it made me laugh:

    If we have a double-dip and Osborne tries to blame the next quarter’s figures on too many people watching birds hatch, we might even have a forced general election before the end of the year.

  30. @ RAF

    I think their eyes are on the cashflow – can they finance it, rather than repaying…

    A large proportion of the SIVs have been written off. I doubt if they did it with sovereign debt.

  31. When Coulson issued his statement, a certain toothsome political journalist bemoaned his departure… if nothing else, because unlike previous No 10 press officers, he had never shouted at her.

    My point is that there is a new generation of (impartial) commentators who have nevertheless given Tories a very sympathetic hearing during the last few years. Some (including the financial journalists) are undoubtedly intelligent and can no longer relied upon to be entirely uncritical.

    Incidentally, today is the first time that I have heard George Osborne place blame for the countries problems upon the banking crisis rather than Labour’s “mishandling of the economy” – this following on from Ed Balls on [email protected]

  32. @Amber,

    I’ve haven’t noticed any comment that would warrant moderation, so whatever it was I don’t think I saw it. I appreciate the mea culpa anyway, altough I don’t suppose I would have been offended!

  33. @ Old Nat

    “Two former Cabinet Secretaries dispute Blair’s evidence about the role of Cabinet in the Iraq War decision.

    It seems likely that the former Labour PM has been economical with the truth (cough cough).”

    I still don’t understand what Blair was thinking. Maybe we’ll never know. If I give him the benefit of the doubt, it would seem like he entered a war believing Bush’s lies in good faith and wanted the invasion of Iraq because it was part of his overall ideology of making the world a better place and promoting liberal democracy. But even if I assume that to be true, I’d still say he was simply naive.

  34. @ Martyn: The government has not accepted liability for all the liabilities of Lloyds and RBS. (Just because some statistician has added the figures together does not make it so). The total liabilities the government has accepted is now around 500billion. You can find this in the latest UKFI report.

    The banks have assets. Although there are considerable uncertainties, the best guess seems to be that *at the moment* the assets just about cancel the 500billion liabilities. (For example, for Northern Rock, its mortgages balance the debt figure you mention.)

    Of course if the economy goes into meltdown, then the assets could prove to be worth considerably less as a large number of people go bust, so there are considerable risks. But it hasn’t happened yet.

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