After four days without a GB voting intention poll (which suddenly seems like quite a long time!) we’re back into the normal cycle. Topline figures for the daily YouGov/Sun poll tonight are CON 36%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%.

UPDATE: The poll also asked about AV. Adjusted for likelihood to vote and excluding don’t knows and won’t votes, NO now has a 18 point lead, 59% to 41%. The change from YouGov’s previous AV poll is only minor, but it suggests the NO campaign are consolidating that big lead that opened up last week. Conservative voters remain overwhelmingly opposed to AV (by 82% to 18%), Lib Dem supporters remain overwhelmingly supportive (84% to 16%) and Labour voters remain split almost straight down the middle (49% pro, 51% anti).

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358 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 36, LAB 41, LDEM 10”

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  1. Seems just about right!
    Can I just say how civilised this site is compared to guido Fawkes.
    A little bit partisan sometimes though!

  2. @ Laz Henson

    A little bit partisan sometimes though!
    —————————————-
    Usually only when Anthony is away. :-)

  3. Seems like we didn’t realling miss anything in our little polling holiday. 7 of the last 8 YouGovs have the Tories on 36.

  4. Thank you Anthony for posting again – we missed you over Easter.

    Gosh – glad to be away from that AV debate on the previous thread. I think I’ve heard all the arguments a dozen times on each thread.

    VI – much more interesting. And a little tighter tonight for Lab. I do wonder whether the AV vote will get out more Tories.

    But similarly, I do wonder whether Lab will do much better than the Westminster VI questions suggest. I remember even Hague had some good victories in council elections when the VI polls had the Tories miles behind. I do wonder whether there is going to be a supreme backlash against the coaltion (and the LDs in particular).

    It’d be very interesting to see from an AV poll, what the breakdown is for party affiliation and how likely they are to vote. If there are many Lab anti-AVers who are out to kick Clegg and they show up, then maybe Lab will do better.

    Anthony, is there any sense as to how AV might affect the council elections (I presume it would push up turnout a little).

  5. Do I suspect you all know each other and I am on the fringe looking in!
    I had no time fou you gov before losing £200 on the last election! Now I know better!
    Has Anthony sent you all a holiday card?

  6. AV Yes 41 No 59

    Con Y18 N82
    Lab Y49 N51
    LD Y84 N16

    Link to tables here
    http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/yg-archives-pol-sun-results-260411.pdf

  7. @Laz,

    Most of us having been slinging stones at each other on here for a year or two. Extra people (and perspectives) are always wanted though, so welcome!

  8. Yes-welcome Laz.

    We only think we know each other :-)

  9. @Colin – been out all day and couldn’t respond to your post regarding the NHS bill, but I’ve done some digging, and the news isn’t good for anyone who wants to protect an NHS free at the point of use.

    In your post you cite the governments response to concerns that GPs could unilaterally decide what services to charge for –
    “….. the clauses cited by Labour cannot overrride section 1 of the NHS Act of 1946, which is now incorporated in section 1 of the NHS Act of 2006. This says that NHS services “must be free of charge except in so far as the making and recovery of charges is expressly provided for by or under any enactment, whenever passed”. This still takes priority, and it means parliament would have to approve any decision to introduce new charges, “.

    I have checked the legislation and I’m afraid this response is entirely bogus. The area of concern is the bit ” except in so far as the making and recovery of charges is expressly provided for by or under any enactment, whenever passed”.

    Part of Section 22 of the bill (‘Raising Additional Income’) explicitly transfers powers held by the Sec of Health conferred under Section 7 (2) (h) of the Health & Medicines Act 1988. I’ve read this Act, and the relevant secttion gives the Sec of State the following power under Section 7 (2) (h)-

    “to make such charge as he considers appropriate for anything that he does in the exercise of any such power and to calculate any such charge on any basis that he considers to be the appropriate commercial basis.”

    So the government response has actually confirmed the fears of many who have read the bill, namely that the powers to charge under the 1988 Act, which supercede the 1946 and 2006 Acts will be transferred from the government to GPs. In other words, the bill would theoretically permit a health service where GPs have freedom to decide what to charge for and how much to charge and where the government could not be held too account as these powers are no longer their responsibility.

  10. @ Laz,

    Welcome to the site – the first page of comments is usually the most civilised :-)).

    @ Phil,

    Thanks for that – gosh, Lab voters really are divided down the middle! I knew the shadow cabinet was but they really do reflect their voters. I can see now why both camps want the LD cabinet ministers to shut up.

    There would have to be an almighty shift in Lab views (by my reckoning at least a 15 point shift from no to yes) for things to change.

    I think the only way this would happen is if Blair, Brown and Johnson all showed up together – but Blair and Brown were never that keen to begin with.

  11. GDP figures out tomorrow – looking forward to the spin from all sides

    Anything less than 0.7% is said to be bad news – but really we ought to be seeing 3-4% p.a. by now

  12. Scotland now same as rest of UK no59% yes41% – so no geographical help for either campaign. Not that Scottish opinion polls are ever accurate on anything!

  13. Adrian – thank you!
    The point I cannot get across is half have voted already according to my canvassing! On top of that my electorate agree with the polls!
    In other words it’s to late for the ‘yes’ camp!

  14. Are the AV referendum results going to be declared on a county-by-county basis?

  15. Apparently it’s around 0.6 but I could be wrong.

  16. @ Eric,

    Thanks for starting the spinning (is that not against the spirit of non-partisanship! :-))

    Trying to be as non-partisan as possible (difficult I know …), it seems to me that:

    – if GDP is negative then the Con game is up. Confidence will take a knock, setting the recovery back months and the strategy has failed.
    – if GDP is 0-0.5% it still looks pretty grim, stories about stand-still economy, sluggish growth etc. etc. EM could mount a strong case against the govt. But govt has escaped a double dip.
    – 0.5- 0.9% is no-mans land, or in political terms each side can argue that their policy would be better/is working/ etc. Probably wont make any impact on VI.
    – above that is good news for the coaltion.

    Let’s wait and see.

  17. @Eric goodyer – the FT had an analysis of what we should be looking for from the GDP figures and came out with figures of a minimum 1.2% growth would show us in modest recovery, arguably needing 1.7% to actually show real growth.

    They say this on the basis that if snow caused a 0.5% contraction in Q4 this should be straightforwardly reversed in Q1, meaning +0.5% as the level position. The ONS also suggested significant delayed output in Q4 in areas like construction that should catch up in Q1, with the FT suggesting this should range from 0.2% – 0.7%. This means that a flat economy would expect to see Q1 figures in the region of +0.7% – +1.2%, which would be in effect a no growth position once seasonal factors are removed.

    Add on a further 0.5% to account for the budgeted annual growth of 2% and we ought to be seeing a figure of +1.2% – +1.7%, which would actually represent very sluggish actual growth over the two quarters.

    I’ve heard various reports that Osborne (who has the figures) is very chipper today, but others suggesting he gave a downbeat assessment to cabinet colleagues, so no real hints there. It looks like it could be modest growth tomorrow, but applying the FT analysis that wouldn’t be very good news.

    Meanwhile Nissan on Tyneside has just followed Toyota in shutting down due to parts shortages and this will continue throughout most of the year. These are high value export plants and is about the last thing Osborne needed for the economy in Q2 – Q4, so even if tomorrows figures are better than expected it won’t guarantee the next few months.

  18. @KeithP – have you a source for this?

  19. A whisper on the GDP figures – plus 0.35% – my gut feeling is more like 0.45% but we shall see.

    Welcoe to Laz – got me thinking – how many of us contribute to othger boards – I do but only occasionally?

  20. @DavidB – source?

    As with KeithP, I do think if people are going to throw out figures we should have a clear idea of where they come from so we can have some judgements as to their merits.

    As far as I know only the ONS and Osborne have these figures yet.

  21. @Laz

    Welcome. You’ll realise pretty quickly that there are a range of people on here (some fall into more than one category):

    (1) The academic psephlogists/statisticians/probability experts

    (2) the party hacks

    (3) the european and international polling reporters

    (4) polling experts from other blogs/sites/polling organisations (Mike Smithson, Bob Worcester etc)

    (5) party supporters/activists who do not quite fall under (3) above.

    (6) none of the above, but interested surfers who comment based on their own limited knowledge, experience and general opinion.

    I fall into the 6th category. Whatever category you belong to, you’ll certainly leave here far more educated than you were when you joined.

  22. @Laz

    Sorry (5) should be those who do not quite fall under (2).

  23. Welcome Laz

    Not unnaturally, we get a tad more partisan during election times..

  24. @Oldnat

    Don’t suppose you saw Alex Salmond interviewed by Jeff Randall on Sky News earlier this evening?

    I know JR is famed for his brusqueness but I did find the tone of his questions particularly condescending. There was a really cringey moment where he compared the SNP to UKIP!

  25. Hi, I’m new, I’ve been lurking for over a year and thought I should start posting.

    A thought about the GDP figures-It seems a pretty arbritrary way of determining what is and isn’t a recession. For example consecutive quarters of -0.1% would be a recession, but -1% followed by +0.1% would be OK. Does anyone know if there’s other methods that could be more reliable?

    Also, weren’t the last of figures about 0.5% worse than expected? I seem to remember the predictions being for a complete flatline.

  26. I’m puzzled that the spin from Cowley Street lately has been that the Lib Dems are going to do better than expected in the council elections.

    I’ve seen no consistent polling to back this up as they seem to have been on or around that 10% figure for so long.

  27. LAZ

    You can learn a lot about how different Scotland is.

    Here be dragons.

  28. @Mick Park

    On YG they have been on 10%. But they’ve been much higher on ICM.

    I think the LDs believe they can win back some support due to the AV referendum being held on the same day, and possibly that they may be able to get some tactical votes from erstwhile Tories in the coucil elections.

    Spare a thought for the people of Leicester East. They have three elections (or is it 4?) next Thursday – a by-election, the Av referendum and the local council election. I think there may also be a mayoral election on the same day!

  29. RAF

    Didn’t see it, but it’s been commented on. I gather Salmond was somewhat dismissive about UKIP.

    I don’t think that these metropolitan folk understand that their attitudes are effective persuaders for my side of the constitutional debate.

  30. @RAF
    @Oldnat

    ‘There was a really cringey moment where he compared the SNP to UKIP’
    ‘I gather Salmond was somewhat dismissive about UKIP.’

    In the sense that SNP is trying to get Scottish independence from UK , whilst the UKIP is trying to get UK independence from Europe?

    Surely not on UK voting potential? In GE2010 SNP got 6 seats with 491,386 votes whilst the UKIP got zero seats from 919,546 votes. But then BNP also got zero seats from 564,331 votes, whilst PC got 3 seats from165,394 votes. Just shows how UK seat distribution varies.

  31. @RAF

    Yep they seem to be placing their hopes on ICM and they may be right with the higher proportion of AV enthusiasts boosting their turnout. But the current AV polling suggests it may also boost Conservative turnout so who knows ?

    It also seems counter to expectations that they would play up their chances when the usual spin around elections is to play them down then claim victory when they aren’t as catastrophic as the spinners painted them.

    The multiplicity of votes does make things much harder to predict but I would admit to being surprised if the Lib Dems did better than expected. No doubt every Party will find something to claim a victory over, no matter what the result, as usual. ;-)

  32. @OldNat

    Yes. It is surprising that someone of the stuatus of Salmond gets treated with so little respect on major UK TV channels (it also happened on Newsnight recently). It’s really quite outregeous.

    The comparison was made concerning the SNP’s inability to convert strong support in non-Westminster elections, to support in such elections. The conclusion being that they were just a party of protests like UKIP (note – JR was also being condescending to UKIP!)

    Salmond responded that the SNP is running Scotland while UKIP couldn’t run a bath.

    Soundbites aside, the comparison was really quite ridiculous. It suggested that the SNP could just be dismissed as a irrelevent fringe party in UK politics, which completely misunderstands the structures within UK politics.

  33. @RAF

    don’t you mean leicester south, my gran lives in the leicester east seat, and i know for a fact that they are voting three times the same as i will be in the parish council, district council and voting system referendum.

  34. @Frank G

    You are one of this sites most significant brains, so I’ll try to argue my case precisely!

    Please see my response to Oldnat above. JR was trying to make out the argument that the SNP were merely a party of protest, as like UKIP they did much better in local and European elections than they did in Westminster elections.

    My point was that this was a rather spurrious argument as the SNP were a major party in UK politics, as they were running Scotland. If UKIP were really of similar stuature they would be running at least one local council in the UK.

    The comparison you have made is between voting totals at Westminster Elections. But that wasn’t JR’s point. And your comparison doesn’t take into account that the SNP only stand in Scotland.

    Of course we can only speculate how popular UKIP might be in the event of an English Parliament. It may well be that they would have a similar impact to that of the SNP. But I rather doubt it, as other than being anti-EU integration UKIP has very little distinct polictical grount that seperates it from the Conservative Party.

  35. @Stuart James Gregory

    Yes – quite right. Leicester South is the constituency that also has a by-election.

    It must be parish, district, AV referendum and by-election.

  36. FRANKG
    In the sense that SNP is trying to get Scottish independence from UK , whilst the UKIP is trying to get UK independence from Europe?
    Surely not on UK voting potential? In GE2010 SNP got 6 seats with 491,386 votes whilst the UKIP got zero seats from 919,546 votes. But then BNP also got zero seats from 564,331 votes, whilst PC got 3 seats from165,394 votes. Just shows how UK seat distribution varies.

    Yet you think the 1872 plurality system is fair?

    Sky have a short clip of the UKIP bit here

  37. RAF

    Thanks (and also for replying to Frank G)

    Journalists and politicians should be skilled at understanding the public mood. Unfortunately, those who are immersed in the Westminster bubble seem wholly unaware of the effect that their use of language can have.

    For example, Ed Balls was in Scotland today making a speech about the Scottish economy, and saying it couldn’t stand on its own.

    His language was interesting. Here are some of the words he used –

    “utter catastrophe”
    “barmy”
    “totally crackers”
    “economically it is madness”

    Now it is perfectly possible to make an argument that Scotland gets some benefit from being part of a larger economy (that is, after all, the point of being in the EU), but such intemperate language from Balls just comes over as a restatement of “you are too wee, and too poor” to run your own affairs.

    For an English politician to come north to tell us that isn’t just crassly bad politics, it is insanely stupid.

  38. Barbazenzero

    Thanks for the link.

    Randall’s questioning seemed like a rather puerile attempt to rile Salmond. Rather like Salmond’s appearance on Question Time, it’s probably quite good for viewers furth of Scotland to see him in a context other than FMQs.

  39. Raf,

    Great post.

    The Three[s] and Sixes are my favorite…

    The hacks are like porridge.

  40. @ Laz

    “Do I suspect you all know each other and I am on the fringe looking in!
    I had no time fou you gov before losing £200 on the last election! Now I know better!
    Has Anthony sent you all a holiday card?”

    Nah. I don’t know anyone here (at least I don’t think I do). But it’s a very friendly place. I think I get along with a lot of the bloggers here because I somehow have managed to have vociferously agreed and disagreed with every single one of them on various political issues notwithstanding their party affiliation.

  41. @ Old Nat

    You won’t believe this but today, for the first time, I saw a Scottish Nat post a diary at Daily Kos! It’s kinda funny because of the Brits I’ve seen there, they’re usually Lib Dems (they see a bright Orange website purporting to be a home for true Liberals and loyal Democrats and must think “aha! A site just for me!”). Then there are some Labourites but they’re usually ex-pats. But I’d not seen a Nat before until today. Though he’s published at least 25 diaries including today’s so I guess I hadn’t been paying enough attention. Lol.

    Honestly, DKos has gone so downhill, I almost don’t blog there anymore. But I still go over occassionally to look at polls and commentary. This Nat was nice (not a cybernat), had to start off his diary explaining that Scots Nats were not racist zenophobes but in fact anti-racist.

  42. @ Old Nat

    “His language was interesting. Here are some of the words he used –

    “utter catastrophe”
    “barmy”
    “totally crackers”
    “economically it is madness”

    Now it is perfectly possible to make an argument that Scotland gets some benefit from being part of a larger economy (that is, after all, the point of being in the EU), but such intemperate language from Balls just comes over as a restatement of “you are too wee, and too poor” to run your own affairs.

    For an English politician to come north to tell us that isn’t just crassly bad politics, it is insanely stupid.”

    You’re probably right. Ed Balls is not the smoothest of politicians.

    Without knowing the intricate details of the UK economy and EU trade policy, I can think of four advantages you guys get off the top of my head:

    1. Economic Power of England

    As part of the union, you have direct access to Fleet Street and the world’s biggest financial center in London. That strong financial sector can help create jobs in Scotland. And the tax base is something that you can take advantage of and benefit from as part of the UK.

    2. Strong Pound

    You use the world’s strongest and highest valued currency. If you become independent, you have to use a lesser valued currency. (Side note: right wing ideologues in the U.S. who rigidly adhere to theories learned in their college economic classes instead of reality attack the strong dollar policy……yet when we had a strong dollar under Clinton, our economy did far better).

    3. Defense spending.

    The UK still has one of the world’s most powerful militaries. And as Libya has demonstrated, notwithstanding the advancement of humanity and dignity in the world……having a powerful military is still a neccessary and very good thing. Scotland builds a great deal of the equipment neccessary for this military. That defense spending produces jobs and economic growth. If Scotland goes independent, that spending is going to dry up. The world’s permanent security council member and major power is not going to allow the production of most of its weaponry in another country.

    4. Tourism

    The United Kingdom’s huge tourism industry is not just a major portion of the economy but has created a brand unto itself. Branding is one of the most important aspects in the tourism and hospitality industry. And the UK is not just another country in Europe, it’s Britain. As part of the UK, Scotland’s tourism industry benefits from the brand image. Because those looking to travel to the UK and spend their money there have Scotland pop up as a place to go to as well. If you’re independent, you’re just another country in Europe competing with all others for tourists and their money.

    Now that’s not to say that Scotland couldn’t be independent or that Ed Balls’s stump speeches are politically helpful. But there are certainkly economic benefits to being part of the United Kingdom.

  43. RAF,

    “I know Jeff Randall is famed for his brusqueness but I did find the tone of his questions particularly condescending.”

    This may not come as a surprise, but sometimes stating the flippin obvious is required: an English journalist trying to be patronising to the most senior democratically-elected representative of the Scottish people is likely to make your average Scot more sympathetic to Salmond than to the journalist.

    Imagine how an American person would react if they saw a French journalist being openly condescending to President Obama. Even Obama-haters would be mightily pissed off at the blatant public disrespect from a non-American interviewer.

    A Scottish journalist, Kirsty Wark, almost got away with it, but it actually damaged her career among the meedja folks that matter.

  44. OldNat,

    – “Unfortunately, those who are immersed in the Westminster bubble seem wholly unaware of the effect that their use of language can have.”

    Being a rapid partisan (sorry Laz), I would of course substitute the word “unfortunately” with “fortunately” ! ;)

    – “… such intemperate language from Balls just comes over as a restatement of “you are too wee, and too poor” to run your own affairs. For an English politician to come north to tell us that isn’t just crassly bad politics, it is insanely stupid.”

    When I open my bottle of nicely-chilled Cava this evening, and raise a skaal to my beautiful, blond, long-legged Scandinavian wife, I will also say a silent toast to Ed Balls. God bless him and all who sail in him!

    And, slightly belatedly (as 23 April is passed): Cry God for Ed, for Edward, for England, and for Saint George!

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/6893938/balls-and-miliband-to-rescue-labours-scottish-campaign.thtml

  45. @ Stuart Dickson

    “Imagine how an American person would react if they saw a French journalist being openly condescending to President Obama. Even Obama-haters would be mightily pissed off at the blatant public disrespect from a non-American interviewer.”

    We especially would dislike disrespect coming from a Frenchman. :) But you know what, American journalists don’t treat politicians in the same way that British politicians do. The utter contempt, rudeness, and just plain aggressiveness from British journalists towards British politicians shocks me. I mean, does Jeremy Paxman ever listen to himself? That guy is such an ahole.

    I think there’s an unwritten rule for American journalists. You can ask a tough question or a difficult question but you don’t get to be rude or obnoxious.

  46. Thank you all for accepting me into your world!
    Can anyone tell me please if they have the figure for candidates standing in the local elections? From what I see around here in the East Midlands the Lib Dems are well down in numbers from previous years?

  47. Alec

    re NHS

    Thanks- I can only marvel at your determination & thoroughness on this issue.

    I’m afraid my camera & the great outdoors takes precedent over Statute archive!

    RAF-like your list & happy to join you as a 6 :-)

    What can one say?-if you are correct then the point must surely be addressed in review-or the HoC

  48. DT reporting GO as conceding economy “still difficult”.

    THey predict Q1 at + 0.5%

    Cue the Spend & Tax brigade in full flow later today :-) :-)

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