Tonight’s YouGov/Sun poll has topline figures of CON 38%, LAB 44%, LDEM 8%. Yesterday’s narrowing of the Labour lead to two points looks like the outlier most people assumed it was at the time – instead we are back to figures very much in line with the Labour lead of about 5 points that YouGov have been showing for a fortnight or so.


307 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 38/44/8”

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  1. @NickP – “Incidentally, is it just me, or is the Met’s “no stone unturned”, new look investigation of the News International phone hacking really just perusing evidence handed over by NI?”

    I commented on this a couple of days ago. NI are trawling through their own emails, giving some evidence to police, and stating that no senior executives are implicated. I would be much more confident if the plice had got off their backsides, secured the necessary warrants and done the computer trawling themselves. Having the criminal organisation sort out their own evidence to pass over seems to rather miss the point of an investigation.

    @Oldnat & RAF – I wasn’t stating support for the military interventions, merely saying that the effect of seeing democracy working, particularly in Iraq, could well be significant in the rest of the middle east.

    It might not necessarily be convenient for us to accept, but I would not be at all surprised if one of the long term outcomes of the Iraq invasion is a spread of more accountable government in that region.

  2. Yes, Alec. It stinks.

    Surely, surely this isn’t going to be it? The “investigation”?

    But I already know the answer. And my heart sinks.

  3. DaveM – a good place to get weekly local by-election results is the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors. However, just taken at face value they are an *awful* predictor of election results. Professors Ralling and Thrasher have spent decades now coming up with a good model that predicts elections based on local by-election results, their current method requires averages of three months or so data, changes drawn from the national equivalent vote at the election they were last fought and the introduction of notional votes for each party that did not contest the by-election or previous election. On top of that the Lib Dems need to be articifically dampened down as otherwise it overestimates them.

    Just eyeballing the data and seeing which parties are up or down or which parties are losing and gaining seats isn’t actually much good.

  4. Anthony….

    Am I corrct in thinking that still at present you cannot be a Roman Catholic and hold the offices of PM and Lord Chancellor or did that eventually get dealt with ?????

  5. “Incidentally, is it just me, or is the Met’s “no stone unturned”, new look investigation of the News International phone hacking really just perusing evidence handed over by NI?”
    If the Guardian is to be believed (which considering their phone hacking coverage in the past) then many of the former staff at NotW kept evidence on their superiors so perhaps this sort of ‘throw them to the wolves’ strategy will backfire.

    I suspect that the BBC’s claim of recent phone hacking was supplied to them by Ian Edmondson.

    This is also perhaps why the Met have reopened the case. If the NotW starts throwing people overboard, who then turn out to have evidence on others (Andy Coulson, etc) then the Met will be in serious trouble if they limit their investigation for a second time.

  6. But tingedfringe

    Why should the Met wait till their hand is forced? They have a mass of evidence of endemic hacking.

    Get in there and get at those private servers. Then start prosecuting them all.

    And don’t halt the pull till the cells are all full.*

    *prize if you recognise the allusion

  7. John Murphy

    There is nothing at all preventing the Prime Minister from being Catholic. There is a ban on a Roman Catholic from carrying out the Prime Minister’s duty of recommending people as bishops… but that could be easily got round by the PM delegating that duty to a senior anglican in the Cabinet.

    There was some debate over whether the bar on Catholic’s serving as Lord Chancellor or not still applied, but Parliament passed primary legislation specifically allowing it in 1974, just to clear up any confusion.

  8. “Why should the Met wait till their hand is forced? They have a mass of evidence of endemic hacking.”
    I fully agree.
    (Just trying to get my bearings with what is classed as partisan, so I apologise if I overstep)
    The Met should have investigated this fully the first time around.

    But this is an is/ought problem. I was just commenting on the reality on the situation – the met were too involved with news international to risk investigation them properly. They now, IMO, are only investigating fully because not could be worse. Which is a sad state of affairs.

    But then our politicians are (largely) in bed with the press also (because of the influence of the press on the polls) so I don’t think we’ll see too much pressure from politicians for a change.

  9. “investigation them properly.”
    Investigating them properly. I should double-proof-read before posting when I have the flu. I apologise.

    (Any chance that the original post could be corrected and this one deleted – I apologise if this isn’t the right place to ask also).

  10. I think this fear of Murdoch is a bi-partisan problem. It just happens to be embarrassing for Cameron, but let’s face it, Blair’s relationship with NI didn’t bear much examination.

    So wanting to see the guilty parties caught isn’t confined to just Lab supporters, I think.

    I suspect the Mirror has indulged in dubious practices too.

    It would be good for democracy if most of that generation of tabloid editors did time. Then we need to look at what is press “freedom” and “self-regulation” and just what is not. I don’t want the press gagged, but really this is all indefensible.

  11. “So wanting to see the guilty parties caught isn’t confined to just Lab supporters, I think.”

    I think this is one of the times that all of the parties prove that they’re guilty in their association with Murdoch.
    The Liberal Democrats made a big deal of Coulson, while in opposition to the Tories, but now argue that he must be innocent, in coalition.
    So I am personally surprised that they haven’t seen a drop in poll support from this story.

  12. It would certainly be better, from the point of view of the preservation of evidence, if the police were to seize all of the computer servers from the NotW. Of course, such an action would probably put the company out of business for a week – with the concomitant risk of a big bill for the Met if it didn’t turn up the evidence they were looking for.

    The next best would be for technicians to “image” the hard drives of NotWs computers on site. This would put them out of action for only a few hours and would still leave the police with a forensically sound copy of any evidence.

    I don’t know why they haven’t, but (apart from “the police are corrupt and don’t want to find any evidence against their paymasters) there are two possible explanations. It could be simple lack of resources. It costs several thousand pounds to examine a computer seized from a private home, due to the sheer size of modern hard drives and the rubbish that gets stashed on them. Or it could be a “collateral intrustion” issue. Before carrying out an operation like that the police would have to do a risk assessment and part of that would include considering how much data they would obtain that was personal in nature and irrelevant to the investigation. They also have to look at “Proportionality” (ie whether given the seriousness of the offence the proposed intrusion is justified).

    I would imagine that if the police were to view every email that crossed NotW’s servers over the past 10 years it would.

    a) Cost several million pounds and take months.

    b) Result in police officers reading information about hundreds, perhaps thousands, of sensitive personal stories, including details of how the information was obtained.

    I think there is still a good case for saying “Do it anyway”, but I can certainly understand the equivocation.

  13. “NI are trawling through their own emails, giving some evidence to police, and stating that no senior executives are implicated.”

    Brian Paddick has said he trusts the new officer to do a good job, above anyone else at the Met.

    Tackling crimial organisations and gangs is her specialism, so the story each member is trying to sestablish has to be a starting point.

  14. While the loss of Coulson associated with hacking/tapping has caused Cameron inconvenience, I do not think this issue is of much interest to the general public.

    Clearly the law has been breached and the police need to investigate. However whether shifting a massive resource away from muggins, robbery, burglary, etc. is approved of by the vast majority of voters is very unlikely.

    Most of those reported as being hacked were polticians, or celebrities, neither of which are particularly well regarded, and probably have a lot to hide and much to be ashamed about.

    Of course this does not justify breaking the law but most of the hype is generated by rival media or labour politicians thinking a can score a political point.

    My freedom has not been reduced in any way by bigwigs being bugged. There are plenty of reasons why the Coalition is unpopular at the moment but this is not one of them.

  15. @Neil A

    Relying on the evidence of an organisation that may have been criminally responsible surely can’t be expected to preserve any evidence?

    The good news of course is that their servers are likely to hold a copy of every single email that any of them have sent, unless they have deliberately tried to erase them… And these should be relatively easy to find. This was certainly the case with Enron, and if people are interested they can still download the raw data…

  16. NickP

    My daughter says the quote is from some group called the Clash (never heard of them myself) – music ended in 1968.

  17. Anthony –

    Are there likely to be any polls this weekend specifically asking about the phone hacking affair do you think?

    As a big issue of the day, would YouGov be likely to add the subject to a general poll or would you have to wait to be commissioned by The Sun/Sunday Times?

    I notice that phone hacking does not appear at all on the Tell YouGov leaderboard of trending topics which seems odd given the coverage it has had.

  18. oldnat

    Your daughter wins my admiration.

  19. Henry

    I’m not so sure. Unless you reckon general apathy about ANYTHING not whipped up by the press pressing buttons (“asylum seeker rapes girl and then gets free £10,000 a week mansion paid for by YOU”) means that only such crime that News International disapproves of gets investigated.

    Most people who know about this want it investigated thoroughly. Sun readers and even Times readers unlikely to know much about it, are they?

  20. Martyn,

    Ta :)

    Craig

    Ta :)

  21. Seems to now be a consistent six point lead.

    As cuts begin to affect people’s lives, they’ll want to hear alternative to big cuts.

  22. The phone hacking story is acting as a distraction from the main political issues which are currently important.

    I am looking forward to increasing debate about whether this government is shaping up to be a uniquely weak administration which is using the trick of ‘there is no alternative’ ‘there is no turning back’ to cover up its profound lack of understanding of how to manage a complex society and its profound lack of senior figures with leadership qualities or anv vestige of charisma.

    The British people are in the process of rumblingthis lot and I don’t think that theywill have the inner strength to stanbd up to the looming backlash.

  23. @Anthony Wells

    I’m interested in those professors work. I’ve seen the ALDC website’s results page. How do they take the by-election results and draw a prediction from them?

    At face value, the by-election results show LD up two over the last 8 months, Con down about 20 and Lab up by a similar number. The trend being Con lose to LD who lose to Lab. I’d quite like to see a methodical extrapolation from these result to the local elections in May.

  24. I know a lot of people on this site follow US politics so I’ll throw in a comment. Did shooting four protestors at Kent State harm Richard Nixon? Did arranging for your opposition’s HQ to be burgled harm Richard Nixon given that he won an election afterwards? Did rising petrol prices and the effect this had on US living standards affect Richard Nixon?

  25. NICKP

    I agree that the media whips up frenzy and I would like to see a proper privacy law, to protect all citizens.

    However, people do suffer directly from a range of crimes, some minor; certainly I have. I suspect many voters like me would like to see the police concentrate on protecting us rather than using even more resource to safeguard the very rich and famous, or to support political ends

    If you are suggesting that these crimes are all manufactured by the media and that the ordinary citizen does not suffer from crime and anti-social behaviour then you are wrong. According to official stats there are million of crimes a year, far higher than voters in most other countries would accept.

    Also DavidB is absolutely right that the hacking story is a distraction from the main issue; the majority think the Coalition are not doing a good job on the economy, while a minority think they are. Either way the economy is in the forefront of people’s mind, not the phone tapping of the privelged few.

  26. Wolf

    “Did arranging for your opposition’s HQ to be burgled harm Richard Nixon given that he won an election afterwards?”

    I think you would have to say “Yes”. Though he managed to keep up the cover-up in place long enough to win the election, he subsequently had to resign in disgrace. That’s a lot of harm.

  27. NICKP

    Henry makes a sensible point about the ordinary voter wanting law and order on the street and in the home. I am not sure if the example you gave is typical or even occurs at all.

    Most of us believe that the police should not follow News of the World agenda or for that matter chase red herrings thrown up by the political elite and millionaire celebrities, they should tackle crime that affects the ordinary person and they need to up their game considerably in doing just that.

  28. If it turns out that the “privileged few” includes the Prime Minister, and the person who authorised it then went to work for the opposition leader who then became Prime Minister while still employing that same person…

    Just a distraction?

    Mind you, I do agree that always the economy trumps everything in voters’ minds. Especially when they start to get bitten themselves.

  29. OldNat

    Spot on

  30. …and the new people looking at the case are the organised crime dept, I think.

    Seems kinda apt.

  31. The Met’s equivalent of my own department.

  32. Neil A

    You have a department which organises crime? ;-)

  33. @ Anthony Wells

    Thank you Anthony….that was very interesting….I guess Mr Blair’s conversion to RC only after he left office made me think there was still a bar of some sort.

  34. It’s been a while – but Neil A & I agree on something.

    I don’t really see a big conspiracy behind the Met’s reluctance to strom into the NI offices waving warrants to seize documents & image computer drives.

    I see a Met that was sensitive to the importance of having a press that is free from state interference. While NOW & NI, generally speaking, do not win prizes for their investigative journalism, there is still the principle of non-interference.

    And don’t forget, the Met were given a wrong bar to clear for bringing charges. They were initially told by the DPP that the messages must not have been listened to, prior to them being hacked. It might not be easy to prove that without a huge amount of time being wasted on finding out which messages had been listened to by an intended recipient prior to hacking & which hadn’t.

    Therefore, IMO, it is the change in the legal position, determined by the DPP, that has been the biggest driver of a new investigation. Of course the idea that it is new information & ‘public’ pressure is more attractive but without the change in legal perspective, it would’ve been enormously difficult to bring any charges – which is the point of a police investigation.
    8-)

  35. @ Nick P, Old Nat

    It’s one of those odd coincidences that you mention The Clash (a band thought to be very political in their lyrics & views). Their bass player, Paul Simonon, is one of Sienna Millar’s close friends, I believe.

    Millar is the actor who refused to quietly settle out of court with NI. I think it was her lawyers who asked the court to warrant full disclosure of the document’s held by the Met. And that’s how Ian Edmonson’s name was linked to the hacking.
    8-)

  36. Amber.

    No interviews of any other named journalists? Chief investigator Hayden instead going to lunch with Coulson and then (after quitting the Met after dodgy affairs with juniors and IPCC officer supposedly invetigating his team) he goes to work for News International?

    This legal advice change…it prevented any investigation at all except of the royal’s case they couldn’t ignore?

    Doing it rather too brown for me, sorry.

  37. We could do with Joe Strummer now. I know what he’d think.

    White riot, I wanna riot, white riot, a riot of my own

    Course we are all over 50 now (he only just made it) so the police would catch us rather easily.

  38. @ Amber Star

    ” ROFLOL”

    No blue blooded English aristocrat would like California because he’d find egalitarian minded Californians far beneath him. And no hard scabble Scot would like California because he’d find the climate too enjoyable and find all the state to be too much fun.

    But for Tony Blair, this could be a perfect retirement gig.

  39. My brother loves the Clash (he burned me two of their CD’s once which I still listen to). I don’t think they’re a 1960’s group though. I think they’re 1980’s or 1990’s.

  40. @ NickP

    I’ll bring my skateboard ;-)

    Regarding the NI non-investigation, I’m more annoyed with the politicians. Some admit, they bowed to expediency &/or alleged veiled threats when conducting their own investigation; as did the PCC.

    They did not have to meet the standards of a police investigation but they bottled investigating this in any meaningful way. Many politicians who are saying their phones were hacked stayed silent until there were large settlements &/or public sympathy was shown to be with the hackees.

    It’s difficult to be harsh on the Met when senior politicians are giving the impression that they, themselves, were reluctant to take on NI.
    8-)

  41. SoCalLiberal

    “no hard scabble Scot would like California because he’d find the climate too enjoyable and find all the state to be too much fun.

    Well Robert Service, did earn his living for a while as a gardener in a South California bordello. He probably did find the climate too good, since he headed off to the Yukon

  42. @ SoCaL

    I am quite the Clash fan. They actually pre-date the Sex Pistols & are, to my mind, a 70’s/80’s band when referring to when they were gigging & recording – other than that, I think some of their work is ‘timeless’ because it uses 3 minute songs to encapsulate the socio/ political climate of their era. Most bands who attempt to tackle political issues sound trite or foolish. The Clash did it brilliantly.
    8-)

  43. That’s the value of a good private education for you..

  44. @ SoCaL, Old Nat

    I don’t know if I qualify as “hard-scrabble” (I’m going to be merciful & aver from puns about the board game) but I turned down several offers to re-locate to California. The idea of being thousands of miles from Edinburgh, Arisaig & ‘my ain folk’ made me homesick just thinking about it.

    Sometimes it also amazes me that politically speaking, I’m not a Nat because I really do think Scotland is the best place in the world.
    8-)

  45. @ Old Nat

    “Wolf

    “Did arranging for your opposition’s HQ to be burgled harm Richard Nixon given that he won an election afterwards?”

    I think you would have to say “Yes”. Though he managed to keep up the cover-up in place long enough to win the election, he subsequently had to resign in disgrace. That’s a lot of harm.”

    I agree completely. Also, it should be noted that when the break in at the Watergate first occurred, no one knew that Nixon had arranged it. That only came out after the election. Pretty stupid move when you consider that that Nixon would have won reelection in 72′ no matter what. It was the act of a paranoid psychotic (as Pat Brown and JFK once privately labeled him).

  46. @ Old Nat

    Who was Robert Service? I was only trying to make a bad joke about Gordon Brown. The idea that if the opportunity arose, he’d turn down being California’s governor because he would not like the idea of being able to swim in a pool during January, have a problem with the food selection being too high quality for him to enjoy, and think his kids would enjoy Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm too much.

    Obviously, Scots have immigrated to California. Boyle Heights (a neighborhood in East LA) was developed by a Scotsman, Andrew Boyle. It was one of the first developments to not have racially restrictive covenants in it.

  47. @ Amber Star

    “I don’t know if I qualify as “hard-scrabble” (I’m going to be merciful & aver from puns about the board game) but I turned down several offers to re-locate to California. The idea of being thousands of miles from Edinburgh, Arisaig & ‘my ain folk’ made me homesick just thinking about it.

    Sometimes it also amazes me that politically speaking, I’m not a Nat because I really do think Scotland is the best place in the world.”

    That’s not unreasonable at all. I’m outside CA right now and I get homesick quite a bit. When I was a kid, my family would go to Europe for these extended vacations and we loved the trips but there was nothing like the feeling of being home when we’d get in the car ride home from LAX.

    I don’t know how one defines “hardscabble” (a friend of mine who’s from England told me she thinks Gordon Brown has a “posh accent”) but I was trying to make a joke about Gordon Brown.

  48. @ Amber Star

    “I am quite the Clash fan. They actually pre-date the Sex Pistols & are, to my mind, a 70?s/80?s band when referring to when they were gigging & recording – other than that, I think some of their work is ‘timeless’ because it uses 3 minute songs to encapsulate the socio/ political climate of their era. Most bands who attempt to tackle political issues sound trite or foolish. The Clash did it brilliantly.”

    Hmmm, not familiar with the Sex Pistols. I looked them up on wikipedia and they were in fact 70’s/80’s. So you are right about the Clash. They do have some great songs. And I do think they successfully tackle political issues in ways that others don’t. I think that SNL once had a great parody of Neil Young’s attempt to protest the Bush Administration “Neil Young’s most subtle political album ever including such songs as ‘I disagree with many of the policies of the George W. Bush administration.'”

  49. @ Old Nat

    For some reason, my comment went into moderation. I don’t know who Robert Service was. I do know that the developer of Boyle Heights, a neighborhood in East LA, was Scottish. But in any case, I was trying to make a joke about Gordon Brown. He’d turn down the opportunity to be Governor of California. “This is all too much fun and too enjoyable, I must return at once to Glasgow!”

  50. John Murphy,

    Peace in NI rendered it inexpedient to convert to soon… the OO did not take too kindly to his children & wife’s chosen faith for example…

    On this matter, I think the Duchy of Lancaster is forbidden to Catholics but Anthony has not confirmed or corrected in the past so I am still non the wiser

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