Tonight’s YouGov poll has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 45%, LDEM 9% – the Labour lead is back up to double figures.

This particular poll maybe something of an outlier, but even so, the apparent budget boost was certainly very short lived. Perhaps it was just the positive effect of the budget or Libya fading, or perhaps it was cancelled out by the march at the weekend. While the coverage of the march ended up being marred by the violence, it doesn’t mean they didn’t damage the government, in fact the two student protests last year that ended in violence also hit government support – though the poll effect is probably more from the reminder of unpopular policies and opposition to them, than the violence itself!

124 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 35, LAB 45, LDEM 9”

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  1. @PHIL

    No, the current Government is an alliance, but I expect the next Government to be Conservative with an overall majority. I also expect the Liberals to recover in the polls, and whilst they will lose seats to the Conservatives they will gain them from Labour.

  2. BT says…

    You come across as very intelligent I thought you should know. Intellectual jostling is mostly smoke and mirrors. Nobody knows anything.


    You can hope but you’ll be wrong.

  4. @DAVIDB

    I do not hope I believe!!! Labour have no rational econmic policy so I cannot see how they could be elected.

  5. Phil

    In a sense we have to acknowledge that Colin is sort of right – Labour’s official policy is still that they fought the last election on, and that differed very little from that expressed by the Conservatives. Since then events and Ed Miliband’s election (and various leading members of Labour leaving the scene) have modified what the Party is saying, but the official policy is as was. This gets used against Labour both by its opponents and by those in the old regime who wish the continuation of things as they were.

    In any case, Colin’s view is as valid as anyone’s because I’m talking about the perception of Labour policy. As I said the various views put forward may be compatible (and hence consistent), but there is no coherent theme that ties them together and nothing to say what is the most important one.

    If you look at the results of that survey in the Sun, i referred to in my first post:

    you see that asked And from what you have seen or heard, what do you think is the Labour party’s policy on cuts in the public services?, 14% thought it was There should not be any cuts to public services at all; 44% said There should be cuts to public services, but they
    should be introduced more slowly
    and 19% There should be cuts to public services, but they should be smaller. 19% said they don’t know – almost twice the percentage that said they didn’t know what the organisers of the march wanted. So Labour appears worse at getting its point across over six months than the march was in an afternoon.


    Unfortunately Labour don’t just have to convince voters that the Conservatives made things worse, they also have to show that they would have done better, or the ‘holding onto nurse’ principle comes into play.

    In any case, as several people on this thread have already pointed out, if the last few years have taught us anything, it’s the infinite creativity of accountants.

    Billy Bob

    I’m sure that many ex-Labour voters who were sickened by the various sins of the Blair years have now returned. Though I would disagree about the ‘same old Tories’ scare, I think it helped boost Labour’s vote in the last few days of the campaign. However these are not the only people Labour needs to win over.

    If you look at YouGov’s daily polls, you can see that a nett 13-15% of panel members who voted for one of the three main parties in 2010 are now not doing so. A point or two of this will be due to the small increase in minor Parties, the rest are those now undecided or disillusioned.

    These are the people who might still revert to the Tories or Lib Dems and prevent a Labour victory. They are not convinced yet.

    Jay Blanc

    I don’t think Labour have reframed the question. The response to Thinking about the way the government is cutting spending to reduce the government’s deficit, do you think this is … necessary or unnecessary? is ‘necessary’ by 59% to 31% [this is in the post-budget poll and slightly more recent than the one I gave the reference for above]. People still believe that sacrifices have to be made to reduce the deficit – they may feel it more regrettable but they think it is right.

    Of course the Conservatives may well fail, even in their own terms, but if they do, it will cause a lot of damage. Rather than sitting back till 2015 to say ‘I told you so’ I suspect most Labour people would prefer things didn’t get to that stage. They do not have an overall majority and as you say the Lib Dems may leave the coalition. An election or even a minority Labour government could happen any time. That’s why Labour need to get a convincing economic set of policies (and also, as Ed Miliband keeps suggesting, why they need to concentrate their fire on the Conservatives not the Lib Dems).

  6. @TOH

    “Labour have no rational econmic policy”

    Even if true, that would be better than having an irrational economic policy.

  7. The Other Howard

    It could be argued that the incumbents have no rational economic policy but, hey, let’s not go there or we could descend into silly partisan comments.


  8. John Ruddy

    Thanks very much.

    I must say I am surprised-thanks for the lead.
    Will go find & read.


    The deficit will not be gone by the time of the next election.

    Absolutely not-Budget forecast has already slipped. Labour have a higher deficit in mind anyway.

    The arguement at the next election will be either :-

    * Why has the Government failed to meet it’s deficit reduction targets throughout the parliament & why is the economy not generating jobs-even after all these cuts-in which case Labour will take office because Cons will lose the economic competency test.

    * We still have a deficit-but its within forecast & the total debt is falling as % of GDP because the economy is growing at or above forecast. Unemployment is falling too.
    We now have to decide how soon we can reasonably move to budget surplus & how much of that surplus we need to get Total Debt to GDP back to x% within y years.
    -in which case Conservatives will win the next election because Labour were wrong, and Cons will be trusted to make the right choices.

  9. @ Mike N

    I agree, we will never agree so the arguments become sterile (see Robin above). I post from time to time when it gets too cosy for the reds.

  10. @Roger M – “Unfortunately Labour don’t just have to convince voters that the Conservatives made things worse, they also have to show that they would have done better, or the ‘holding onto nurse’ principle comes into play.”

    If Nurse is over-dosing fellow economic patients with morphine however, the general cry is more likely to be “let go of me!” or “get me out of here!”

    Seriously, I appreciate your thorough posts and responses enormously.

    But this obsession from all sides with Labour’s alternative strategy seems to me more about deflecting attention from the current failure of the govt.’s economic policy. Sure, things *may* improve but at the moment the signs are not good and this deflection strategy is all about shifting the focus. Quite understandable tactics but why should Labour play along?

    It’s all very well to say the govt might collapse at any moment…there could be a snap election…we need to know Labour’s economic alternative NOW?
    But a) if govt collapses it’s not going to reflect well on them b) why let the govt. nick your good ideas and c) it seems good tactics to keep Opposition policies as close to govt. as possible whilst at the same time declaring differences and pointing up problems until such a time as the alternative really needs to be spelt out. That time is not now.

    This is what DC/GO did in opposition after all – they were going to match Labour spending pound for pound so there was no appreciable difference between govt and opposition economic policy for quite some time.

  11. @Roger Mexico

    I’ve already placed a silly bet on the Lib Dems hitting the panic button, and fresh elections happening in 2012. But I may well lose my money, since if things continue to look this dire, and particularly if Nick Clegg keeps making competency questioning public blunders, they might do it this year.

    But you overestimate how much an opposition has to detail in their plans to get elected to government. Should the Lib Dems hit the panic button tomorrow, Labour would win a landslide, without ever having to come up with a plan. Of course, it would be a really good idea to have some kind of plan for when in Government. And not ‘hit the ground running … then trip over a log’ as some other governments we could name.

  12. There is an alternative, it’s just that we haven’t been able to communicate that alternative to others.

    A Global agreement to harmonise corporate tax rates and to outlaw tax havens, close tax loopholes, impose a Robinhood-tax on the financial sector which taxes 10p out of every 1000p and so on.

    The Robinhood-tax alone can generate up to £20b per year, which is £80b across four years and anyone with a working brain will see that this is just the amount the coalition wants to cut and in the timeframe which they want to cut it in.

    If Labour actually started advocating this policy instead of the slash’ and burn policy of Osborne then they’d skyrocket in the polls.

  13. YG Wales Poll 31 March 2011

  14. I think you are wrong about labour winning a landslide. Come on we all know their vote at the moment is soft. It’s just typical of mainstream Britain to always want something else and labour are seen as this at the moment, due to them
    being seen to be against cuts. However I do think If there was an election soon labour would have to lay their cards on the table, which would change things quite drastically.

    Also the scaremongering of some commenters on here about the destruction of public services, is incredible. We all know this isn’t going to happen.

  15. Karl,

    You talk my lingo :)

  16. Eoin – I had you down as someone who knew that an annual tax that brought in £20bn would only cut the deficit by £20bn, not £80bn…

  17. @Roger M

    If you didn’t know that the poll you cite had been commissioned by the Sun in its quest for a cheap headline, you’d be able to have a good guess by looking at the question you’re citing. Of course people weren’t able to give a consistent view on what alternative Labour has been putting forward, because none of the available responses summed up the “too far, too fast” message.

    Specifically, the Sun didn’t allow a response along the lines of
    “There should be cuts to public services, but they
    should be introduced more slowly and should be smaller” .
    Instead, the Sun sowed confusion by asking people to choose between a “more slowly” response and a “smaller” response.

    Nonetheless the fact is that 63% of people gave a response citing one or the other of the two questions that came closest to the correct answer, against only 14% who thought that Labour policy is that there should be no cuts. (And presumably the 4% who said “none of these” did so due to the inadequacy of the options on offer.)

    So that seems to me to indicate a reasonably good degree of public understanding of the message that Miliband and Balls are putting across.

  18. Anthony,

    Touché :) I just liked Karl’s name! What a handle!.

    On tax?

    Tax telecoms £1.5bn x 5
    Income tax 2p.. raising £9.6bn [inc. Scot] x 5

    £7.5bn + £48bn = £55.5bn. Use that to inc. capital expenditure by £6bn per annum = £30bn and the remaining 25.5bn to create 400,000 affordable homes over 4 years, maintaing 150,000 direct employees & 600,000 wider workers..

    0.4% extra on GDP just from homes,

    use the reduction in a) housing benefit 400k x £82 [ave HB payment x 52 & tax take on workers as well as less unemployment benefit and the CoE would save/recoup £4.7bn x 4 = £18.8bn :) use that to pay off the deficit… +the extra tax revenue from the 0.4% + GDP from impetus into economy…..

    I’d reverse corp to pay for a VAT redcution to stimulate consumer spending :)

    But hey… I’ll shut up now before Nuu Labour take me away and put me in a black bag. :)

  19. @ Roger Mexico

    44% said There should be cuts to public services, but they should be introduced more slowly and 19% There should be cuts to public services, but they should be smaller. 19% said they don’t know – almost twice the percentage that said they didn’t know what the organisers of the march wanted.
    The problem with the poll you are citing is that the question causes confusion.

    IMO, Labour’s policy is: There should be cuts to public services but they should be BOTH smaller AND introduced more slowly.

    I would’ve had to choose ‘don’t know’ or skip the question which I assume would make me a ‘don’t know’ because none of the options offered by YG were, IMO, accurate.

    Therefore of those polled only 14% are unclear about Labour’s policy i.e. they think it is “No Cuts”. And I am wondering about the ‘political colour’ of that 14% because I think it may include some Tories who don’t care to know the details of Labour’s policies.

  20. @Knight

    There’s nothing to stop Miliband using the same tactics of 2009 Cameron, and keeping quiet on exact policy details except to deny they would do anything bad and would do something different than Government. Oppositions have the benefit that they *don’t* have to lay their cards on the table unless they end up in government.

  21. So, who are the “No Cuts” selectors.

    23% are Tory voters
    12% are LibDem voters
    8% are Labour supporters.

    35% of government supporters don’t care to know the details of opposition policies. What a shocker. ;-)

  22. @ Phil

    Snap! It seems that most people have a fairly clear idea of what labour’s policy is.

    I’ll shut up now before Nuu Labour take me away and put me in a black bag.

    Just as well you’re not using your rosy background – they probably won’t be able to find you anyway.

  24. Barban,

    I switch off my communicative data periodically to make sure their UAVs don’t locate me :)

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