Apologies for the website troubles last night – hopefully all is now sorted. All many of you will have seen, the latest YouGov/Sun poll has voting intentions of CON 36%, LAB 44% and LDEM 9%. This is the highest Labour lead YouGov’s daily polling has shown since the election.

I expect there will be some comments below about YouGov now telling a similar story as the MORI and Angus Reid polls we saw in January showing the Labour lead moving up into double figures. I’ll only offer my normal caveat about any poll showing a big movement – it may just be margin of error, wait and see if it’s confirmed. YouGov’s daily polling has been running with an average Labour lead of 5 points for the last three weeks or so. This poll is no more at odds with that than the 2 point Labour lead we saw earlier in the week which subsequently turned out to be an outlier. This poll may very well be the start of a bigger drift towards Labour… or we may be back to a 5 point lead tomorrow.

It is the great strength of daily polling for those of you who I know don’t appreciate it – if you get an outlier, you normally know about it the next day rather than the next month.

83 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 36/44/9”

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  1. @ Chris Todd

    Bad news always makes the headlines with much more gusto than any good news.


    I tend to agree, however my sense is that in the past 5 years media attacks on the Government of the day have reached fever pitch in their sensationalism and negativity. There doesn’t seem to be a great deal of concern for proper analysis or mature reflection in the press these days.

  2. “But before we get all heated about how well the manufacturing industry is doing and how it will drag us out of recession, remember that it only makes up about 13% of the economy and is starting off from a low base. To put it in context it’s like having a whole marathon to run but saying that we’ve covered the first mile in record time so all’s well (so far). It is the services sector, which makes up 75% of the economy, that matters at the moment…”

    Read more: http ://www.economicvoice.com/uk-manufactuing-growth-surges/50016313#ixzz1CvO3fYac

  3. oldnat
    Despite its conjuring up some horrendous visual images!

    Agreed. Any reference to Salome always puts me in mind of Hancock’s description of her “dancing naked in front of Harrods“.

  4. Sergio:

    I tend to agree. If the reason for the poor Q4 figures has simply been because of everyone talking about how bad these cuts will be creating fear, then everyone in the public eye who has been talking the economy and the governments plans down has been at least partly responsible for this “placebo” effect.

    Sometimes I just wish the government would be allowed to get on with running the country than having to fight fires lit by the press and others. I suppose this is the sad point that governments now seem to need, or at least prefer to use a spin doctor to do the bulk of this work.

    Yes, there should be scrutiny but if this scrutiny is so intense that it has a detrimental effect on the country is it wise? This applies to either party when they are/were in government, I’m not trying to only defend the current government.

  5. Barbazenzero

    Hancock is the proof (were any needed) that England has given much to the world!


    We’re not that far apart – except that England seems to me to be facing real problems of legitimate governance in the future if there is growth – but it all takes place in the SE. (You might tip over!)

  6. Amberstar

    I understand the point that manufacturing is only a small portion of the economy. However I’d contend that it’s far too small and the service industry is far too large and has no room to grow without other industries growing first.

    As a simplistic model, the service industry moves money around the economy and is the current heart of our economy. It’s great in that you have a many to one ratio, every pound entering the system is passed around many times, so it is very efficient at creating jobs, in the fact that one job outside the service industry creates many jobs within the service industry (due to the fact that money earned in the service industry funds other jobs in the service industry)

    The idea that you can perpetuate this loop forever is to me as nonsensical as a perpetual motion machine. With each cycle the amount of money decays. (Normally called “Taxation”). The service industry is important, but to make it flourish money from outside the service industry is required to “seed” the system.

    Simplistically, this money can come from one of two means, you make (as a country) stuff to sell, or you borrow money to keep the whole thing working.

    Yes, if you stop borrowing overnight, the whole thing will be a disaster and grind to a halt very quickly, people will run out of money to spend on services and the economy would hit a brick wall.

    It is a careful balancing act and yes borrowing more and cutting slower would be less of a risk, (although obvious at a cost that has to be paid at some point) as long as you can keep borrowing forever. This isn’t possible in the current global economic state, with countries like Japan, although having a great manufacturing industry are having real issues with generating confidence (and consequently suffering a downgrade in their credit rating) about their long term sustainability.

    Any increase in interest rates for us would directly take money out of the economy and is still the biggest risk we face.

    In the end how successful the governments plans are (and how adept they are at adjusting these plans in the face of world events) can only really be determined with hindsight. The are as many economic theories as there are economists, and what worked in the past won’t necessarily work now.

    If the coalition fails to achieve their targets then I would have no qualms in voting them out in 5 years provided there was a clear and credible alternative plan.

  7. One-liner from Phil Redmond on the Big Society…

    “They turn up wanting a big conversation, and it turns into a big lecture; we don’t need that.”

  8. @ OldNat

    Sorry, I read your comment twice again and I see what you mean, my fault. No, there is no difference.

  9. @ Alan

    I was quoting from an article by an economic expert; it’s not my personal opinion.

    I work in manufacturing & few things have depressed me more than successive governments treating manufacturing as the ‘ugly stepchild’ of the UK economic family.

  10. @ Alan

    Manufacturing (with investment) is the most important. However, it’s not the taxation, but the redistribution of the value added by the market forces that creates the problems – everywhere, even in China now. Essentially, with the current manufacturing competition model the amount of capital investment is so high, that manufacturing cannot realise sufficient margin above the investment (Japan has not returned anything really in manufacturing above (!) investment, they constantly refinance it through loans, so a large proportion of the depreciation appears as if it was profits).

  11. Lazlo

    I never guarantee to make my thoughts clear! :-)

  12. Lazlo/Amber

    The other sector which provides high value added is R&D.

    In many ways it’s surprising that it took Pfizer 6 years to close their R&D facility in Kent, after they opened one in China.

    It’s one of the reasons that oil remained important long after they were extracting comparatively little of their own – and why it will still be important in Scotland, when our undersea resources are no longer being ripped out as fast as possible to fund the UK deficit.

  13. Does this mean that the people of Liverpool will cease to be good natured, civic-minded and helpful to their fellow citizens? Does it mean they will stop volunteering to do charity work? What exactly does withdrawing from the Big Society mean?

    Come to think of it, what exactly does the Big Society mean to start with??

  14. Looks to me that the drop in Tory voting intention (as far as I can see) is from those who in 2010 voted LibDem who said they would now vote Tory.
    It has dropped in a day from 17% to 8%.

  15. I think Labour will eventually pick up all the “soft” votes and a lot of the “don’t knows”.

    The cuts were never going to be popular, but coupled with the NHS and the deficit actually getting larger…


  16. “The council learned in December that it would lose £100m in specialist grants from the government, many of which were allocated to charities and community groups tackling welfare issues, from worklessness to family breakdown.”

    Joe Anderson (council leader): “… the government has failed to deliver a single change that we have requested.”

    “How can the City Council support the Big Society and its aim to help communities do more for themselves when we will have to cut the lifeline to hundreds of these vital and worthwhile groups?”

  17. Nickp

    There is an issue of causality here.

    “The cuts were never going to be popular, but coupled with the NHS”

    IF the NHS reforms in England are going to drive people to Labour, presumably they will have zero effect in Scotland and Wales, where these changes are not taking place.

  18. the Percentage of blues saying they do not kno how they will vote at the next election is starting to climb.. As it does, ICM will re-weight them back to blue at 0.5% ratio. It may have in time the same effect as it does on the yellow vote.

    Put simply, if you think YG is kinder on the blues now, as DKs [blue climb] it may well create the impression that YG are harsher on blue.

    there is a tipping point in YG methodology where they appear to punish a deeply unpopular party an incy bit more than other pollsters [as we are seeing with yellow at the mo]. This affected GB’s reds in June ’09 it will affect blues towards the end of the year…

    It does not make them any more or less accurate in my view, it is just a quirk.

  19. oldnat

    Scotland and Wales learned all they need to learn about Cons in the eighties. They will vote Labour to spite the Tories.

  20. NickP

    Still doesn’t work. Voting Plaid or SNP would do the same – a damn sight more in a number of constituencies – and in Scotland at least, there is a huge overlap between SNP and Lab potential voters.

    The reason that devolution was so important was specifically to protect our services from the way that the English Tories would want to “reform” them.

  21. Egypt is far more important than any of this; down with Mubuarak. It’s time we gave democracy a chance and lived with the consequences. We are appalling in that we have fostered so many dictators…

  22. @ OldNat

    Yes, it is an important point (about R&D), but Pfizer’s move is a part of a general reorganisation of the pharmaceutical sector. It will effect negatively the Cambridge biotech cluster though. Having said that – while such a blow to the biotech sector, we have to quickly add, that the biotech industry has not returned the money invested in it in the last 30 years….

  23. Jack

    For my generation, it’s just nice to see that any shooting being done in Egypt isn’t being done by British troops sent in by a PM who was clearly …….. (phraseology omitted to protect Anthony’s site, since the same would apply to Blair).

  24. @ Neil A

    I have my own opinon of my fellow city-dwellers of Liverpool…

    But this is plain and straight. The government withdrew all earmarked funding to organisations for youth, elderly and children. They cannot even pay for the building they are in. The council had a choice: provide funding to these organisations who are under no obligation to provide the services (as they are voluntary) or ensure that various groups receive the services, so it was a no choice question: the council did not make up the cuts in funding by the government.

    The scale of cutbacks is really unbelievable. Even unspent £5,000 for children’s sport trip is demanded back by the Treasury – it should have been spent by the 15th of December (how was the weather then – it affected GDP, but not sports trips?).

    The hostility to the coalition is really strong. The real question – if it reaches the Midlands. Then there will be a real turn in the polls.

  25. It’s quite understandable that we’ve fostered dictators. After all, as the anti-war lobby constantly remind us, we “can’t impose democracy”.

    Fortunately it looks everything will soon be in place for a resolution. If Mubarak is saying that the only reason he doesn’t quit is fear of instability, then I imagine something can be cobbled to together to ensure an orderly transition.

    It’s going the right way I think. The government’s unleashing of plain clothed attack dogs has probably tipped things towards an arrangement between the army, the pro-democracy movement and the Muslim Brotherhood (who would probably claim to be part of the latter – time will tell), with some saving of face for the old order mixed in.

    That’s my hope anyway.

  26. @ OldNat

    Interesting parallel – I have been thinking about it since it broke out. Then Nasser had to let out all the leftists from the desert prisons and eventually arm the fellahs (especially in the north)…

  27. Lazlo

    “The scale of cutbacks is really unbelievable. Even unspent £5,000 for children’s sport trip is demanded back by the Treasury”

    Good Lord!

    Cutbacks I had expected – but clawbacks? I hadn’t realised that England was a country living under such detailed centralised control!

    I’ve worked in state schools all my working life – most of that time in management, and that kind of centralisation is unheard of.

    How the hell has the English government avoided revolution all these years?

  28. Georgios Papandreou seems more nuanced in his approach, engaging in a dialogue with Mubarak and others, rather than just engaging in megaphone diplomacy (and perhaps behind the scenes soundings with the military leadership).

  29. @Billy Bob
    Papandreou’s task is a very difficult one. He hopes to convince Mubarak to step down with no further bloodshed and contribute to the revolt not degenerating in total chaos from which only extremist forces will take advantage. It is a very difficult transition and we are all holding our breath till we see how things will play. Unlike Greece, Spain, Romania or Argentina, Egypt has never known democracy before and everything must begin from scratch.

  30. Virgilio

    “Egypt has never known democracy before”

    Not quite true. It’s known British, French and Israeli democracy – at gun point.

  31. @Virgilio – Best wishes to Georgios in taking up his intermediary role.

  32. @lazlo
    “The hostility to the coalition is really strong. The real question – if it reaches the Midlands. Then there will be a real turn in the polls.”

    Well, the Midlands is facing a lot of cuts. Last county-owned care home in Rugby is closing.

  33. OLDNAT @ NicP

    You party has a PR opportunity here. I’ve explained how compelling your deputy leader’s line “PFI? [shakes head] It’s wrong. [pause] We’re not doing it.” is to those that know somthing about it.

    If I was running your campaign I would just repeat that line over and over again with everything you are NOTdoing, or wouldn’t do. e.g. Trident.

    Apart from a few fishing communities not many will care much about the many minor and worthy things the SNP has done, but avoiding the dafter ideas of central government which are often bizarrely inappropriate to sparse rural populations is you party’s USP.

    The scope of the NHS changes in England leads me to question whether the Scottish NHS could escape most of the cost of advertising for staff and train many fewer, relying instead on a steady stream of recruits from England.

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