YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 44%, LDEM 8%. As expected, the 2 point Labour lead in yesterday’s poll did indeed turn out to be an outlier and the daily tracker continues to show a steady five point lead for Labour.

83 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 39/44/8”

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  1. @ Sergio

    VAT is a tax on (mainly) non-essential consumption and I don’t think it makes a great deal of difference either way to people’s spending habits. Income tax does.


    I dont get this either.

    i. VAT is applied to most consumer goods.

    ii. Consumer spending is generally the purchase of such goods.


    iii. A rise in VAT leads directly to a rise in prices of consumer goods and so is very likely to slow down consumer spending at least as much as a rise in Income Tax – if not more so.

  2. @ Anthony

    I’ have a suggestion: You might want to relax the Conservative-led rule. It’ll work in the Tory Party’s favour when things are going well for the government.

    Show some faith in ‘your’ team’s ability to make an asset of it, perhaps? :-)

    [Amber – you’ve probably misunderstood the rationale for it, it’s there because if someone has made the conscious decision to use a phrase that has become politically loaded, they are probably not attempting to post in a spirit of non-partisanship in all sorts of other ways too – AW]

  3. I think the tax cuts being lobbied for are cuts in higher rate tax, not my income tax.

    I make no comment on the fairness. But it seems likely to be both unpopular and not convince many of its likelihood to boost the economy or reduce the deficit.

  4. @ Chris Todd

    It’s simple really.

    If VAT rises, you’ve got the money in your pocket and can choose what to spend it on, be it VATable or non-VATable goods and services.

    If income tax rises, you don’t have the money in the first place. The goods and services, of whatever nature, don’t get bought.

  5. @Amber

    I’m glad you saw the irony of your comment: the pretence at impartiality has always been a little farcical. I would prefer to say that people on this site are polite, which sets it apart from others.

  6. @ Anthony,

    Thank you for the reply. :-)

  7. @ Sergio,

    I’m pleased you ‘got’ the humour.

    I think the tax issue is an interesting one. There’s been some coverage about taxes & the ‘squeezed middle’.

    Apparently lots of ‘squeezed middle’ voters are going to (unexpectedly?) find themselves shorn of tax credits & child benefits whilst also being pushed into the 40% tax bracket. Allegedly a fairly typical ‘hard working family’ could be thousands of pounds worse off each year.

    We’ll need to wait & see whether this is the actual outcome of the Coalition tax plans; if it is, I think it will lose votes for the governing Parties. I’m not saying that’s fair or unfair, but I think it’s what will happen.

  8. Amber

    There is already tax pain for working people – introduced in April 2010 – with more to come. The Govt will no doubt hope it can remain in office long enough to deliver tax cuts in 3 to 4 years time.

    I take your point on the polling however my point was that on election day voters will always see the Cons as more likely to cut tax than Labour.

    It doesn’t surprise me much that Labour are ahead on this poll since the Cons have completely lost control of the media narrative, but I believe that this will change over time as the economy improves (if it does).

    BTW why the shades?

  9. There seems to be a gap opening up between Cameron and his party – he seems to be going left while his party is moving to the right.

  10. Craig Oliver new director of government communications. BBC news editor also worked at ITV, CH4 and Five News, but no expirience in the newspaper world.

  11. Craig Oliver’s appointment might quell some of the more ridiculous posts we occasionally see about the BBC being stuffed with lefties at least.

  12. Latest YouGov/Sun results 2nd Feb CON 36%, LAB 44%, LD 9%.

  13. Nasty server problems last night, as I’m sure people will have noticed. We’re up for the time being, though I’ve already had a couple of false dawns when things appears to be OK, but the problems reappeared – touch wood this time things are sorted.

  14. 8 pt lead. Another longish gap. Moving ahead or Con dropping back? Or still 5 points-ish?

  15. Re: general election. Cameron cannot call a general election. He can go to the palace and resign but the Queen would be bound to ask Miliband to try to form a government before considering calling an election.

    It is a rather interesting question as to what the LibDem exit strategy will be. As I understand it the default plan is to assert their identity towards the end of the parliament to have a distinctive brand at a 2015 election. But if things get unpalatable for them before that, in the polls or at the polls, there may be a change of plan. Thanks to above post (sorry I forgot who on previous page) we now have two possible scenarios

    1. Withdraw from coalition and support Tories as a minority government.

    2. Withdraw from coalition and support Labour as minority government.

    Whether either would lead to a revival in LibDem support, or enable them to press any policy agenda more forcefully, is another matter. But there may reach a point where anything is preferable to the status quo.

  16. @ Anthony

    Re: Nasty server problems

    When it came up Account Terminated last night, it was very worrying… I thought they had discovered your secret identity as Mr Wikileaks & Julian was just your front man. I thought we might never see you again! ;-)

  17. “But there may reach a point where anything is preferable to the status quo.”


    About three months ago?

  18. @ HAL

    Re: general election. Cameron cannot call a general election. He can go to the palace and resign but the Queen would be bound to ask Miliband to try to form a government before considering calling an election.
    Anthony might correct me but I’m pretty sure that isn’t the case. I think the sitting PM can set a date for the next GE without having to resign.

  19. @ Sergio

    BTW why the shades?
    It’s sort of my ‘signature’ when I comment anywhere that runs on word-press. For some reason, I simply like it. I guess it seems a little conceited, signing my comments with an emoticon.

    Rob Sheffield uses it too. Either because he doesn’t want me to be so vain or because we are both Lefties & he believes it’s good to share. ;-)


  20. In terms of requesting a dissolution, the situation is quite unclear because of the Fixed Term Parliament Bill.

    In the current situation Hal is wrong. The Queen *only* calls an election at the request of her Prime Minister, so there is no possibility of her calling an election because she can’t get a Prime Minister, the constitution abhors a vacuum – the Queen’s government MUST continue (hence the orchestration of the party leaders after an election so the new PM arrives at the palace about half an hour after the old one resigns).

    The Prime Minister has a right to request a dissolution, and the Queen has only very limited rights to refuse one. Specifically, she might consider refusing one if Parliament was still young and there was a plausible alternative government that could command a majority in the House. In practice the precedent of 1974 is that the constitution cannot persist upon a diet of repeated dissolutions, but every PM is allowed one dissolution (essentially, it was accepted that had Heath tried to remain in office after Feb 1974 and asked for a second dissolution to try and get a majority, the Queen would have refused and sent for Wilson. IF, however, Wilson had asked for an immediate dissolution she would have been hard pressed to refuse. In the event the palace managed to persuade Wilson to wait until October.

    Cameron’s position is broadly comparable to Wilson’s in 1974 (largest party, now the sitting PM, and did not call for the previous dissolution that left him the largest party), and on that precedent it is **extremely** unlikely that Cameron would have a request for a dissolution refused. The only possible scenario would be if there was an explicit alternative government, with a coalition agreement already decided and a workable majority (as opposed to the potential for one) even so, it would risk involving the Queen in a constitutional crisis and I suspect the palace would not set the precedent of refusing a dissolution.

    That’s all by-the-by of course, in practice the Fixed Term Parliament Act will be in force relatively soon (assuming it gets through the Lords). In this case, Cameron cannot ask for a dissolution unless 2/3 of the Commons agrees with him. The only way he can get one is if he loses a vote of confidence in the Commons and no government gains a vote of confidence in the following 14 days. We don’t know how that will work in practice, but the only way I can imagine is that Cameron will remain caretaker PM (the Queen’s government MUST continue, and it’s implicit in the Bill that someone remains PM to set the election date), but that the palace will actively explore alternate governments, and if it emerged that Miliband was capable of forming one Cameron would resign and Miliband be invited. If not, Cameron would remain PM and there would be an election.

    So basically, on the present situation, Hal’s wrong. After the Fixed Term Parliament Bill is passed, then in practice is should work pretty much as he says.

  21. Anthony

    I think you should move to paying your electricity bill by direct debit rather than in cash. It’s so embarrassing when you get cut off. :-)

  22. Oldnat – I ran out of 50 pence pieces and the Londis won’t give me change any more!

  23. “But if things get unpalatable for them before that, in the polls or at the polls, there may be a change of plan.”

    Anywhere around 10% as the Lib Dems have been for months is surely already “unpalatable” although the senior politicians may not admit it. Bringing Laws back is unlikely to help (just as bringing Mandelson back didn’t help Labour much.)

    We will have to see what happens in May but I think the scale of the wipeout in the northern and university cities it is going to be a tremendous shock to the Lib Dem system.

    Eventually, they will have to make a break or confirm that they have become a centre right party comfortable with Tory policies on the economy and the NHS etc.

    I must avoid making a partisan point with the esteemed AW watching but I think that the lack of real distinctiveness of the Libs vis-a-vis the Tories over economic and social policy is an absolutely fatal problem for them. What is the answer? I don’t know if there is an answer.

    The problem is reflected in the fact that their entire left leaning support seems to have shifted to Labour since May. Labour hasn’t had to work for that (and there is, of course, substantial danger in that for Labour but, all the same, it is good news for Labour).

    Over the next two years, the Lib Dem party may be reduced to just the rump of Parliamentarians entirely at odds with the small remaining party on the ground.

    With the inherent lack of political logic at its heart, I predict serious ongoing difficulties for the coalition and ultimately defeat in 2015 (if it lasts that long) with Labour claiming the “centre ground”.


    I remember when I was young, many, many years ago, when the meter man would come and empty the meter, we would always get some money back, what great days they were. Shall I tell you that we could also leave the front door open and not worry about getting burgled? Because we had nothing worth stealing :-)

  25. Gary Gater

    You had a front door? Lucky, lucky, lucky! Ours was stolen ….

    etc etc :-)


    Very many thanks for your excellent efforts to bring clarity to the matter of dissolution under the new act. I think a lot of people have been thinking about this given the situation in parliament.

    I personally think that the new arrangements are messy and would seem to involve a fortnight of talking – still, that’s democracy foryou!

  27. Cleggmania:
    05/05/2010 Con 35%, Lab 28%, LD 28% (8%)

    New Brown administration:
    25/09/2007 Con 33%, Lab 44%, LD 13% (-11%)

    Pre-Cameron re-branding:
    27/10/2005 Con 32%, Lab 40%, LD 19% (-8%)

  28. @OLDNAT

    LOL lets stop there!

  29. The latest YouGov means that four out of five pollsters have a labour lead between 8% and 11%. With ICM having a 2% Labour lead.

    This YouGov may be an outlier or it may be that YouGov have caught up with the trend, common sense would say that YouGov should pick up any trends first, given their daily polling (sorry if that sounds rude).

  30. Nicely put Gary.

    The idea that one pollster picks up trends before others irritates me – pollsters are all measuring the same public opinion, so they should pick up trends at the same time, or they are doing something wrong.

    The only way that a pollster can appear to be the first with trends is if they happen to do far more polling than others, which YouGov do. It just so happens that, because they poll every week day, whenever something happens there is a good chance the next poll will be a YouGov poll.

  31. FWIW, Here’s a fun theory about why YouGov is different to other firms & bouncing around a bit.

    YG panelists are volunteers & they are disproportionately likely to follow the news, politics & polling.

    Some days, their hearts tell them to vote Labour. Then they see Labour getting well ahead in the polls & ask themselves, is the country ready for another Labour government? No, it’s too soon! Then they switch back to one of the Coalition Parties. ;-)

  32. Amber – “they are disproportionately likely to follow the news, politics & polling.”

    Doesn’t hold true. Most YouGov panellists are pro-actively recruited through campaigns targetting people (often those without an interest in news, politics and polling, to counteract the likely bias of people who join themselves).

  33. @ Anthony. I think we are both agreed that the decision on dissolution is taken by the Queen, not the PM, although she would clearly take his advice. Whether she is really bound by convention as you say is not so clear; in these situations there is a rush by self-proclaimed experts to pronounce on what she might or might not do but these are not necessarily correct (as Australians know). Of course there is extensive discussion between the palace and the various parties but I do not think the PM can just order her about.

    As you say the new bill does change the situation if it becomes law.

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