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. SoCalLiberal

    “Robert William Service (January 16, 1874 – September 11, 1958) was a poet and writer, sometimes referred to as “the Bard of the Yukon”.He is best-known for his writings on the Canadian North, including the poems “The Shooting of Dan McGrew”, ….The tale takes place in a Yukon saloon during the Yukon Gold Rush of the late 1890s. It tells of three characters: Dan McGrew, a rough-neck prospector; McGrew’s sweetheart “Lou”, a formidable pioneer woman; and a mysterious, weather-worn stranger who wanders into the saloon where the former are among a crowd of drinkers. The stranger buys drinks for the crowd, and then proceeds to the piano, where he plays a song that is alternately robust and then plaintively sad. He appears to have had a past with both McGrew and Lou, and has come to settle a grudge. Gunshots break out, McGrew and the stranger kill each other, and the Lady that’s known as Lou ends up with the stranger’s poke of gold.” (Wiki)

    He was a Scot (as you may have guessed). :-)

  2. That’s a cue for some more gratuitous Clash lyrics:

    Stagger Lee met Billy and they go down to gambling
    Stagger Lee throwed seven
    Billy said that he throwed eight
    So Billy said, hey Stagger! I’m gonna make my big attack
    I’m gonna have to leave my knife in your back

    Why do you try to cheat?
    And trample people under your feet
    Don’t you know it is wrong?
    To cheat the trying man
    So you better stop, it is the wrong ’em boyo

    You lie, steal, cheat and deceit
    In such a small, small game
    Don’t you know it is wrong

    Billy Boy has been shot
    And Stagger Lee’s come out on top
    Don’t you know it is wrong
    To cheat the trying man
    To cheat Stagger man
    You’d better stop
    So you must start all over again-all over again
    You got to play it, Billy, play, you got to play it, Billy, play
    And you will find it is the right ’em boyo

    But if you must lie and deceit
    And trample people under your feet
    Don’t you know it is wrong
    It is the wrong ’em boyo

    See? Nothing but wisdom there.

  3. NickP

    I was right the first time!

    Music DID stop in 1968. :-(

  4. Them’re just words.

  5. That earlier line came from this (quite topical now):

    It’s Lucy In The Sky And All Kinds Of Apple Pie
    She Giggles At The Screen ‘Cos It Looks So Green
    There’s Carpets On The Pavements
    And Feathers In Her Eye
    But Sooner Or Later, Her New Friends Will Realise
    That Julie’s Been Working For The Drug Squad

    Well It Seemed Like A Dream, Too Good To Be True
    Stash It In The Bank While The Tablets Grow High
    In Their Millions

    And Everybody’s High (Hi, Man…)
    But There’s Someone Looking Down
    From That Mountainside
    ‘Cos Julie’s Been Working For The Drug Squad

    And It’s Ten Years For You
    Nineteen For You
    And You Can Get Out In Twenty-Five
    That Is If You’re Still Alive

    An’ Then There Came The Night Of The Greatest Ever Raid
    They Arrested Every Drug That Had Ever Been Made
    They Took Eighty-Two Laws
    Through Eighty-Two Doors
    And They Didn’t Halt The Pull
    Till The Cells Were All Full
    ‘Cos Julie Was Working Fob The Drug Squad

    They Put Him In A Cell, They Said You Wait Here
    You’ve Got The Time To Count All Of Your Hair
    You’ve Got Fifteen Years
    A Mighty Long Time
    You Could Have Been A Physicist
    But Now Your Name Is On The Mailbag List
    Julie’s Been Working For The Drug Squad

  6. NickP

    That reminded me of

    Barbara A. Barnett

    (a rather good little Chalkboard tale)

    The words huddle in the corner, cradling their scarred forms. Every second, there are new red gashes, new boils.

    “Why are you doing this to us?” the words ask.

    The young woman glances away from her computer with a sneer. She has been stringing together words and thoughts, misspelled and incoherent. She tells someone she doesn’t care about appearances, all the while sitting there with one so carefully maintained—nails and lips painted black, hair striped with a new color every week, lacy black sleeves so artfully ripped in all the right places.

    “They’re just words,” she says. “You’re just words. No one cares.”

  7. Anthony

    Have we slipped (ever so slightly) off topic? :-)

  8. Ok last Clash lyric and a relevant one:

    All over people changing their votes
    Along with their overcoats
    If Adolf Hitler flew in today
    They’d send a limousine anyway

  9. Eoin – I can’t find anything detailling whether or not their is a restriction on a Catholic becoming Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, but since there is at least one recent example of a Catholic actually being Chancellor of the Duchy (Chris Patten), there is clealy no de facto bar upon it

  10. @Anthony Wells

    I think Norman St John Stevas was both Catholic and Chancellor of the duchy in the first Thatcher cabinet.

    Other Matters:

    I see some polls out in Ireland and some talk that they disguise an underlying strength in Fianna Fail in the coiuntry areas of Ireland….

    how much this is wishful thinking I can’t judge. The figures I’ve seen however, put Labour well behind Fine Gael… so it will be a strong left-centre coalition with Labour still the junior partner unless the campaign changes things radically….It certainly doesn’t look life total wipeout for the government though I think it may be the first time Fianna Fael hasn’t had the largest number of TDs…though I know very little of detail of Irish politics…..

  11. OldNat


    I was right the first time!

    Music DID stop in 1968.

    Given that Stagger Lee was a folk song based on incident in the 1890’s and first a hit in the Fifties:

    ht tp://
    you’re going to have to move your musical deadline back a bit.

    Oh, and the Sex Pistols were going before the Clash (who I always thought typical middle-class poseurs myself).

  12. @ Old Nat

    Thanks for that. You are an expert on Scots. I don’t know why someone would want to move from California to the Yukon but to each his own. I had an academic advisor who recently moved to Alaska. I can’t imagine why someone would love Alaska but she loves it up there.

    You’ll appreciate this. Last night on the news, sportscaster was talking about Andy Murray’s victory over Ferrer. He reffered to Murray as British and pointed out that no Brit had won the event Murray is playing in since 1934 (I wish I could be more specific but I don’t follow tennis). Then he suggested that because of this “we all have to root for him.” No mention of him being Scottish too.

  13. Re the hacking investigation, there is clearly some nervousness about the whole issue of links to News International within Downing Street.

    The responses from Downing Street to requests for basic information by the Guardian about whether Cameron met Rebekah Brookes at Christmas have been eyewatering if you set them alongside Cameron’s apparent support for open government he espouses.

    The simple question of whether the two met sometime over Christmas and was a civil servant present has been evaded with legalistic wordplay and not a single straight answer in site.

    I’ve often posted that in my view Cameron [you have, and sometimes I haven’t been around to moderate it – AW]

  14. Roger Mexico

    Seems a tad different from the typical 50s hit “Teensy Weensy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” (I should have added that Music didn’t start until 1960). :-)


    Fair enough. If an American sportsman was being referred to here, I wouldn’t expect the BBC to tell me which state he was from.

    If your sportscaster said the same thing after Independence, that might be rather different.

    Why would your sportscaster say “we all have to root for” Murray? Is this some kind of payback to Blair for the invasion of Iraq? or that Djokovic is Serbian, and Serbia used to be Communist?

  15. I told you. Murray is only Scottish when he loses.

  16. That Christmas gathering.

    It seems that telepone hacking, Coulson, BskyB bid were not discussed.

    I expect they all just got pissed and played twister.

  17. Re: hugging closer.

    The plan for a formal pact, which seems to be a non starter, is now for it to be an informal pact.
    The intention, no matter what some LDs may say or how often they say it, is for them to be locked in by the time of the next GE.


  18. A YouGov survey found that only 27% of people back moves to allow profit-making companies to increase their role the NHS.

    Overall, 50% of the 1,892 respondents opposed the policy. But hostility was more evident among Lib Dem voters, 56% of whom said they were against, with just 30% in favour. Conservative supporters were also split: while 46% backed the use of private firms, 32% were against.
    Is this news, or did Anthony already cover this in a previous thread?

  19. @ Old Nat

    “Fair enough. If an American sportsman was being referred to here, I wouldn’t expect the BBC to tell me which state he was from.

    If your sportscaster said the same thing after Independence, that might be rather different.

    Why would your sportscaster say “we all have to root for” Murray? Is this some kind of payback to Blair for the invasion of Iraq? or that Djokovic is Serbian, and Serbia used to be Communist?”

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed when visiting your relatives in the U.S. but most Americans use the terms “English” and “British” synonymously and interchangeably. Thus, well known Scots tend to be naturally confusing. Hence, Jon Stewart asking Gordon Brown “So, where are you from?”

    And as for the reasons as to supporting Murray, it’s nothing that sinister. Americans tend to like Brits, ergo, Murray is the fan favorite. It’d be different if he was facing an American competitor. But he’s not so he gets to be the fan favorite. And I think (and I am hesistant on this because I don’t follow tennis) Murray has a positive media image. There’s no anti-Serbian bias or pro-Blair payback here.

  20. How can you “informally” tell your supporters to vote for a different party?

    Recipe for disaster.

  21. @ Nick P

    “I told you. Murray is only Scottish when he loses.”

    On the BBC and Sky and whatever sporting networks you have (ESPN United Kingdom) but on any U.S. network, he’s going to be reffered to as “British” even if he loses.

  22. John Murphy

    The last time that Fianna Fail was not the biggest Party in the Dail was in 1927. It shows the long grip that the politics of the Irish Civil War had on Ireland, and the way so little has changed. It may be that this election finally marks the end of that, but I have my doubts, mainly because of the lack of a set of plausible alternative Parties for the voters to turn to. Instead we’ll probably see a splintering of the vote, a lot of Independents and the usual back-door deals. I hope I’m wrong.

  23. SoCalLiberal

    You’ll have to excuse some of my southern neighbours.

    Regrettably, they are going through that adolescent period of defining who they are. It revolves around sport and labelling people.

    We went through that in the 1970s. When they grow up, they’ll be as embarrassed by some of their excesses.

  24. Is there any polls tonight?

  25. @ Billy Bob

    “intention, no matter what some LDs may say or how often they say it, is for them to be locked in by the time of the next GE.”

    That’s asking for trouble I think. And what MPs may say or do doesn’t mean that their voters will do the same.

  26. @Billy Bob – “The intention, no matter what some LDs may say or how often they say it, is for them to be locked in by the time of the next GE.”

    I read a post on the Caron’s Musings blog (Lib Dem activist) about the Tory briefings about a pact. She says there is no chance of any pact, Lib Dems know it and so do Tories. The view expressed was that this is intended to hurt Lib Dems by frightening away Labour leaning voters.

    Her take was that Tories will be seeking a majority in 2015 and will be fighting Lib Dems blow for blow. Damaging them will help Tory prospects in 2015, and this is why unnamed Tories are briefing what is, in effect complete nonsense that has not been approved by the Lib Dems.

    Apart from saying that no activists would go along with it, it also reeks of a coalition that is very distrusting and extremely edgy.

  27. Roger Mexico

    Tories and Whigs?

    They showed the long grip that the politics of the English Civil War had on England. After all, neither of them changed at all since the 17th century?

    Ireland’s political structure is less than 100 year’s old, so perhaps your comment isn’t terribly appropriate.

  28. Incidentally, a pact, formal or otherwise is the end of the Lib Dems. They rely totally on being able to flop around in the middle. Once that’s gone, there really isn’t any point for them to be there.

  29. Alec

    The Herald ran a story yesterday (unsupported by anyone else as far as I could see) that a Tory/LD pact was definitely on for 2015.

    I assumed that it was done simply to damage both parties even further in Scotland.

  30. The next election looks as if it will get more and more polarised.

    There are seats forever Con and seats forever Lab…are there many forever Lib, whoever stands?

    Tory-Lib marginals will be fun. As polling looks now, any Lab marginals will go red, whoever they are against.

  31. NickP

    May 2011 will be the 16th general election I have voted in. Every single one of them has been polarised.

    2015 will be no different.

  32. @ Old Nat

    “Tories and Whigs?

    They showed the long grip that the politics of the English Civil War had on England. After all, neither of them changed at all since the 17th century?”

    The Whigs are still around, they’re just called the Liberal Democrats. And seeing as the Prime Ministers who served during the Revolutionary War and during the events that led to its outbreak were mostly Whigs, I’m naturally distrustful of the Lib Dems. Not that I like the Tories either. After all, the only foreign leader to ever capture and then burn down Washington D.C. (Admiral Cockburn) was a Tory.

    With all that in mind, I think the modern parties are a bit different than their ancestors. I don’t think David Cameron has the same aspirations as Lord North or Admiral Cockburn. And I don’t think Nick Clegg has the same political philosophy as William Pitt or George Grenville.

    Allright, I gotta go to the gym. Nice chatting with you.

  33. SoCalLiberal

    “I think the modern parties are a bit different than their ancestors”

    Of course, they are. So are the ones in Ireland. That was the point I was making.

  34. @ Billy Bob

    To quote from the article:

    “A plan for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to encourage anti-Labour tactical voting at the next general election is being discussed privately by Tory Cabinet ministers.”

    Is being discussed by *TORY* cabinet ministers. I have lost count of the number of stories published like this. Funnily enough they are never able to find any Lib Dems to quote who would want to enter into such a suicide pact.

    The fact is, the Tory left would love to have Lib Dems on board to counteract their hard right wing UKIP Tebbit tendency. That is why they keep floating these stupid, baseless stories. They also calculate that it is a way of paring off left of centre Lib Dem voters, making our MPs so desperate that they will look for any help they can get.

    The Tories can keep on briefing journalists all they like. It ain’t going to happen.

  35. Al Jazeera

    Fascinating to see the people protecting the local areas, while the army protects the main streets.

  36. What I meant by polarised is “two-horsed”.

    If the Tories are trying to utilise the Lib Dems in a tactical “anti-Labour” vote, then fine.

    Because they have already lined up the anti-Tory vote in the Labour camp for the first time since the seventies.

    So fair-do’s. You either vote for Tory or for Labour. Lib Dems will be pseudo-Tories in any such pact, formal or informal. And all the anti-Tory Lib Dems have already fled to Labour.

    I wonder if the Lords can split the boundaries/reduction of MPs from AV? Then the Libs can jump ship in June.

  37. old nat

    i was begining to think that i was the only one watching al jazeera

    it very inspiring

  38. Well as Tories were Irish brigands and Whigs western Scots….and both terms of abuse… shouted acrooss the commons chamber to those seated on both sides of the house…I think we may overstate their political origins by calling them parties….in any meaningful sense prior to the latter part of the eighteenth cnetury.

    I’d also say they’re more rooted in the Exclusion crisis which was a function of the restored monarchy rather than direct descendants from the political rivalries that consumed Great Britain and Ireland in the Civil War.

  39. NickP

    I know that the concept of Coalition Government is beyond the memory of most living English people.

    But your new definition of “two horsed” still applies to every election I have voted in. One of the two largest parties will be bigger than the other.

    If they don’t have an overall majority, then they will seek a formal or informal coalition with someone else.

    I think the SNP are the first to run a minority government for a whole Parliamentary term (unless the opposition want to vote down a Budget this year.)

    That there is a junior partner in government does nothing to change the “two horse race” nature of the contest, however.

    In any election, everyone knows that one of the dominant parties will be the main force in the new government.

  40. The Guardian has this on the phone hacking scandal and the share values:


    I can’t see Murdoch chucking Coulson & Brookes to the wolves, can you? But the alternative seems to be big money loss.

  41. @NickP

    “You either vote for Tory or for Labour. Lib Dems will be pseudo-Tories in any such pact, formal or informal.”

    Firstly there will be no pact, or at least not one signed up to by the Lib Dems (it would be voted down at conference) and secondly, there are still many voters who don’t like either Labour or the Tories, no matter how fervently Labour supporters would like to deinvent our party. We are not “pseudo-Tories” or “pseudo-socialists”. We have our own traditions, philosophy and policies.

    With AV plus the boundary changes, it is even more likely to be a “three horsed” election in 2015 than ever before.

  42. @Alec – Thanks for your post. There was something on Lib Dem Voice I think, a while ago: briefings from within the cabinet about NC’s supposed exit to Brussels and a 2014 timetable for electing the new LD leader.

    Bearing in mind Roger Mexico’s reminder about what happened (NoW) when Hughes/Oaten made their bid, Tories hope to get their preferred candidate in place.

    Hugging the life out of the Lib Dems makes sense if they can gain even a little ground on the centre-right, rather than risk it all going the other way next time.

  43. John murphy

    There were several Civil Wars going on. Reducing them to one (presumably the English one?) is an absurd over-simplification.

    “both terms of abuse… shouted across the commons chamber to those seated on both sides of the house”

    Sadly, that continues to be what happens in elected chambers.

    PMQ and FMQ are a disgrace to their respective Parliaments.

  44. @RiN

    That’s three of us watching Al Jazeera. Bet they’re glad they decided to launch an English language service.

  45. Socal Liberal
    Of course Cockburn was a Scot! (Sometimes quoted as the inspiration for Hornblower)

    How Lib Dems feel doesn’t matter. The dynamic is there. Lib Dems in the southern half of England can only survive if the Tories just take off the pressure, not treat them as key targets etc. They will be begging for it. Of course the unfortunate corrolary is that those who rely on an anti-Tory vote are finished. Caron’s musings don’t matter at all

    Lib Dem for ever and ever? In Scotland, it comes down to Orkney and Shetland. The boundary changes will create maayhem for them in other rural areas and they would seem a write-off in urban Scotland

  46. oldnat

    I think we are not very good at coalitions.

    Last May I voted Lib em as an anti Tory vote. I can’t very well ever do that again, can I? There are lots of people who think that way.

    I think tactical voting entirely slants the picture. I suppose I am at heart a supporter of PR. Then I can vote “old” Labour and then they can form a coaltion with some other left of centre blocks. Keep the right wing UKIP/Clegg/Tory block in a minority.

    But at present we have this race to get the majority.

    On the reductuion of constitiuency numbers. Why reduce the number of MPs by 50?

    Increase the power of ministers over back-benchers?

    Cut mostly Labour seats?

    Nobody has explained to me why less MPs is a good idea, and if it is why 600? If less is good, why not 100?

  47. raf

    they are totaly awesome

    no wonder everyone tries to shut them down

  48. NickP

    Your two largest parties are already very wide coalitions (as are ours).

    That so many of you like to imagine that your “own” party is centred on “your” ideas is probably the difficulty! :-)

    As to the changes in HoC – you’ll forgive me if I see minimal changes in a Parliament based on constitutional principles that I find abhorrent as somewhat immaterial.

  49. RiN

    I’ll probably watch a US News Channel later – I wonder if they will show the Arab-American demonstration that AlJazeera has on.

  50. Arab-American demo?

    What am I missing?

    Fill me in?

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