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. Nick Poole

    Cut and paste error. I didn’t mean to omit your first name. No offence was intended. Shame this site doesn’t have a proper quote facility.

  2. ha ha

    Sorry Colin. Couldn’t resist pokng back so shows me up worse in the end.

  3. Three competent campaigns – nonsense.

    Tories are an irrelevance – not even trying to get elected – just laughing at Labour – and offering no reason to vote for them at all. Lib-dems is an exercise in self flagellation ( or more accurately Clegg flagellation) actually giving people solid reasons to vote for anyone else other than them. Greens have made next to no impact at all – it is hard for them but the loss of Robin – albeit an erratic and inconsistent figure – gives them no real lovable figure to hook up to. They appear once again dour and worthy harbingers of doom. Clearly, Labour are fighting some other election other than the one upon which we are embarked led by the sleepiest and most uninspiring back room boy imaginable (and one that can’t count).

    Only the NATs have taken this seriously , prepared an agenda to fight on and a clear message to sell to the electorate.

    It’s only my stubbornness ( and personal dislike of Salmond’s brand of populism) that prevents me joining them. All logic would suggest that the undecided oin the basis of what’s on offer will only vote SNP.

    Ouch – that hurt!

  4. @Laszlo

    ‘e.g. somebody else have to go to overspending and debt’

    Not necessarily so. A flow of funds analysis certainly agrees that a reduction in the public sector deficit must be matched by a similar and opposite change in the private sector barring any external flows. However this can also be achieved by the private sector reducing its surplus. The corporate sector is flush with cash and are in a prime position to invest; they currently seem more intent on buying up undervalued assets like other companies and , of course, their own shares. The personal sector is more complicated as some parts have been using the low mortgage rates to accelerate their repayments thereby reducing their outstanding debt. On the other hand those living off their savings have seen their income decimated and have dipped into capital.

    One danger of reducing the deficit is not that the private sector surplus falls leading to a rise in investment and consumer activity but that the external outflows accelerate with UK corporates going on overseas forays or the UK public rushing to Spain or Portugal.

  5. TBG
    “This time last year, Barclays reported profits of £11.6bn for 2009,” so a fall of soem £5bn.

    But…I accept that the underlying profitability is up. Yet Barclay shares I believe have fallen.

    So, I note you have not countered my other arguments.

  6. Robert C

    I see mixed news on the jobs front.

    The cuts in public services and hence jobs will continue to feed through.

    I sincerely hope that the private sector does create more jobs than are being lost.

  7. @iceman
    You are presumably taking a purely Scottish view when you make your comments ? In the nation which has 60 million voters just south of you, the Tories are certainly “trying to get elected”.

  8. @Mick Park

    “so reacting to one set of figures may be risky”

    I was referring to data that will appear contradictory as the economy rebalances; some sectors will grow and others will not.

    One set of gdp figures with or without revisions means very little but it does set the mood music. The 0.5% fall in Q4 certainly did that.

  9. @Steve/Lazslo/Aleksander – to butt in on your discussion, the quote from Steve –
    “By 2015, we should be running a surplus and paying off the national debt. Responsible households and companies live within their means, responsible governments should do so too” , rather misses the point of what the government is planning, which is possibly what Lazslo is alluding to.

    While Osborne seeks to reduce government debt, his growth figures as defined by the OBR, are dependent on household borrowing rising to record levels. These are the assumptions upon which the OBR and Treasury have predicted economic growth, with the basic assumsption appearing to be that in straightened economic times with falling real incomes, consumers will respond by borrowing more.

    The government has built a recovery that backs Lazslo’s assumption as far as I can see that reduced government spending is replaced (in part at least) with increased debt fuelled spending by consumers. It’s hardly sustainable nor desirable, and begs the question from Steve’s quote regarding responsible families – are we building a growth strategy dependent on irresponsible families?

  10. Once again Construction numbers are the key factor.

    There was a quarter last year when Construction supposedly rocketed & no one understood why.

    This time -2011 Q1 -Construction fell 4.9%., seemingly with little rational logic. Since the sector represents 6% of the economy , that’s a 0.3% negative effect on total GDP……or to put it another way 94% of the economy grew by 0.8% in Q1.

    As always Stephanie Flanders is on to this & gives a fair commentary.

    Q2 & Q3 will be MUCH more significant indicators-as has been said, public sector job cuts start in earnest then.

    …we need to see whether NIck Poole’s economics -that Private Sector can’t grow independent of State spending-is Balls-or Ballsian-or both :-)

  11. @mike n
    It is likely that 25 to 30% of “job” losses in the public sector are in fact non job losses.

  12. Sapper
    “It is likely that 25 to 30% of “job” losses in the public sector are in fact non job losses.”

    Go on then, explain the logic of this. And while you’re doing it consider that getting rid of vacant posts does not actually reduce the wage bill.

    good luck

  13. Alec

    “The government has built a recovery that backs Lazslo’s assumption as far as I can see that reduced government spending is replaced (in part at least) with increased debt fuelled spending by consumers.”

    There was some discussion & analysis about that inference from OBR.

    Indeed OBR issues clarifying data as a result.

    Don’t think its quite as stark as you portray it Alec.

    If you can bear to read past the header on this-you might find the numbers interesting:-
    h ttp://

  14. MIKEN

    Try not to be obtuse-the term Sapper uses-“non-jobs” is popularly used to describe jobs for performing functions which are unneccessary/duplicated/unproductive-or otherwise avoidable.

    He doesn’t mean that they don’t exist-but that they need not.

    They do course give rise to payroll costs-which is the whole point :-)

  15. @sapper

    Yes – my comments are on the Holyrood election. In the rest of the UK both Labour and Tories campaign with professionalism and articulate key messages – in the main – it’s their job. Lib-dems appear headless and disorientated all over.

    It’s the Scottish campaigns that are terrifying in their ineptness for both Labour and Tory – but Tories have very little left to lose here, so it’s the Labour party that will get the kicking – as well as the Lib-dems obviously who are getting kicked all over.

  16. “non jobs”

    We are about to hear the usual stuf about diversity co-ordinators and whatever other claptrap is peddled about civil service snd public sector jobs.

    When the nurses and firemen and policemen and orderlies and whoever all shrink to near invisibilty we will then get told that all the “diversity co-ordinators” kept their jobs and this was the fault of, oh, somebody who has a “non-job” which included deciding who to sack.

    Many people are going to lose theri jobs. Not non-jobs. Real paid jobs that won’t get done…and they won’t get paid any more.

  17. @ Sapper,

    I’m afraid that not only is that comment about non-job losses incredibly patronising and untrue (not to mention cruel to those who will lose their jobs – some of whom may be posters on this thread).

    It completely breaks the spirit of non-partisanship on this site.

    Please read the comments policy.

  18. Colin

    Hmm, “calm down dear” springs to mind


  19. ha!

    I don’t know which is worse…”calm down, dear” or the fake indignation in response.

    PQT is a circus, ain’t it?

  20. Adrian B 2.24

    Sapper’s jovial comment wasn’t particularly offensive. However hard it is to lose your job, not everyone loses their sense of humour your suggestion that such posters might be offended by a well-known running joke on non-jobs strikes me as the comment that is patronising, not Sapper’s!
    I accept that they might not find it funny, but the comment is a lot more in line with the comments policy than many every day and is hardly offensive.

  21. ‘PQT’ being PMQ?

    There is something worth remarking about DC – he seems to be becoming more confident and increasingly seems to say what he is thinking.

    I am happy to encourage him to continue with this.

  22. Mike N,

    Its impossible to comment on your others. You talk of future interest rates, future employment, future inflation…

    I talk of what actually happened… Ie employment rose, unemployment fell, inflation fell, trade exports up, manufacturing up…

    It would take a significant rewiring for me to switch from talking about the past to your preferred mode of dialogue the future…

    I’ll answer them in 3 months..

  23. TBG
    Please remind me at the time.


  24. Mike N,

    If your right I will.

    If you’re wrong, i’d prefer not to waste my time.

  25. TBG
    That’s really generous of you.

  26. Mike N,

    Its the least I can do for a small minded hack.

  27. Nick,

    “PQT is a circus, ain’t it?”

    Indeed it is, with Ed Balls being the worst of the lot. His attitude and behaviour is truly pathetic.

  28. TBG
    It makes my day to exchange pleasantries with you.

    But enough! Or other posters will become jealous.

  29. I hope that Cameron’s ratings plummet. We deserve better than this pastiche of a Prime Minister who can’t even do justice to a Michael Winner catchphrase.

    PMQs is rowdy and boisterous but any Prime Minister who cares about the job, the status of the Office (let alone his/her own reputation) would try and rise above the hurly-burly by offering competent answers and not rising to the various ‘baits’ more mischevious MPs are laying.

    As soon as he feels the slightest bit defensive Cameron reverts to type and becomes his natural boorish self. His predecessor as a Tory PM, John Major, had a number of faults but a tendency to rudeness was not one of them and Cameron would do well to consult his predecessor about the ‘image value’ of politeness and good manners.

  30. One thing which strikes me about the unemployment debate, is how so little noise is made about the fact that employing people in the public sector is such a worthwhile and efficient investment.

    I recall reading a study about how something like 90% of the cost of employing someone in the public sector goes back to the government (via tax receipts) and to the private sector – as these people spend their salaries on goods and services, thus helping to feed the wider economy.

    Of course, public spending does need to be sustainable. Given how overwhelmingly popular taxing the wealthy is, and how completely Reaganomics has been discredited, I find it quite remarkable that Labour does not turn around and say “we’re going to lower the 50% tax bracket to £100,000, and we’re going to spend the extra billions on health, education, and keeping libraries open”.

    How could the Tories respond to that?

    The argument that higher rates of tax on the wealthy ‘hold back aspiration’, as if there are millions of people who would suddenly go out and earn 150k if only it was taxed at a lower rate, is quite preposterous. The ‘trickle down effect’ is far less effective than simply cutting taxes at the bottom end or investing the money directly into society via robust public spending.

  31. Iceman,

    – “It’s only my stubbornness (and personal dislike of Salmond’s brand of populism) that prevents me joining them. All logic would suggest that the undecided on the basis of what’s on offer will only vote SNP.”

    I’m no big Salmond fan either, however, I view the best interests of my country as being far more important than my own personal taste in personality types.

    Betting update: money continues to go on a 2nd shock John Mason victory in Glasgow East.

    The John Mason (SNP by-election victor from 2008) price continues to shorten in Glasgow Shettleston. Victor Chandler have just brought it in from 12/1 to 7/1 (same as Paddy Power). The best SNP price in this seat in now the 10/1 from William Hill (shortened from 14/1).

  32. I normally just observe but looking at some of the GDP comments I felt the need to contribute with regard to the comments on the FT and the 1.2% growth, from which some commentary has subsequently been made.

    Have you looked at the GDP growth data sets over a period? From what I can see – only 7 quarterly GDP growth figures have equalled or exceeded 1.2% since 1990. That is from my simple sums only 7 from a possible 81. Maybe this helps to put into perspective the FT suggestion that figures needed to be 1.2% and how unlikely this would be. Also bear in mind that the figures are the preliminary figures and are often revised upwards and hence it may wish to reflect this when comparing to the non preliminary historical data.

  33. Forgot to mention that SkyBet have just entered the Most Seats market. Along with Ladbrokes they are currently offering the best price for LAB backers: 7/2

    Best SNP Most Seats price is currently 1/4 (Betfair and Smarkets).

  34. @DavidB

    Worse, the PM was very poorly briefed.

    He was wrong about the Lab GP who he claimed had lost hos seat to a Conservative. He jadn’t

    He was wrong that EM predicted a double-dip. He didn’t.

    He wrong.about the ‘looney left’ Lab MEP who supported the ECJ decisoon on insurance premiums, in stating that he believed the right approach was for premiums to reflect individual risk, which the MEP explained is exactly what the ruling provides.

    To be rude is one thing. To be rude and wrong another.

  35. @Jonn

    Maybe the FT thought growth of 1.2% appropriate due to the allegedly exceptional factors that lead to the -0.5% figures in Q4.

    0.5% is not normally terrible for.a Quarter. However, neither is it evidence of sustaonable growth. The Government needs real and substantial private sector growth to reduce the deficit and offset public sector unemployment. There is no evidence of that – yet.

  36. Stuart Dickson

    Shettleston !!!

    McAveety might need his bus after all – to move out. :-)

  37. @ Old Nat

    “Re the Scottish economy

    This isn’t really the site for such a discussion. I posted Ball’s comments in terms of their likely political impact. (Also why I said its possible to make a reasoned argument for either side.)

    As to the points you raised, there are downsides and upsides to any arrangement. It’s a matter of balance – and is essentially governed by one’s world view.”

    You’re right (you’re also very reasonable btw). Balls’s talking points probably hurt more than they help. I have a feeling that the issue of independence is not one that is guiding the current campaign.

    Btw, that Scots Nat blogger on DKos is in fact not really a Nat, he’s an American who’s Scottish ancestors left (apparently after some attempted revolution) a very long time ago. :( Disappointing.

    I wound up in the middle of an argument between the Nats supporter and another American who I guess is of English descent. The guy of English descent believes that the U.S. has extreme Anglophobia and laments the fact that no one in the U.S. is allowed to celebrate their English ancestry while apparently those of Scottish ancestry do. The Nat supporter believes that this is a result of the fact that symbols of Englishness including the English flag and the St. George Cross have become symbols of “racism.” Wow. And no, these people are serious.

    I think I’m reminded again of two things from this fascinating albeit factually and reality challenged argument:

    1. DKos has really gone downhill.

    2. There’s life away from your keyboard. We all love blogging (I certainly do) but it’s good to have other things in your life besides it. Otherwise your perspective on reality can get a little skewed.

  38. @OldNat, @Stuart D

    Don’t get too carried away. Having just checked the odds, Lab remain 1/20 and 1/66 favourites there.

    To further moderate this slightly premature triumphalism, can I refer you to this quote from Wikipedia regarding the 1999 Holyrood elections:
    “The Scottish National Party (SNP) had done well in opinion polls running up to the election, gaining 40% in some approval ratings but this level of support was not maintained”
    The SNP ended up with 29% and 27% on the two votes.

  39. @ Colin

    “Cue the Spend & Tax brigade in full flow later today.”

    Spend and tax is a better philosophy than spend and borrow. I admire the Tories actually for their consistency when it comes to their tax plans.

  40. SoCalLiberal

    Someone from England will correct me if I’m wrong, but I think theere was a period when the racist far right hijacked the English flag, and mainstyream England allowed them to do so.

    On my more recent visits to England, i’ve been glad to see their flag much more commonly displayed, and it seems to have been reclaimed by “ordinary folk”.

  41. “2. There’s life away from your keyboard. We all love blogging (I certainly do) but it’s good to have other things in your life besides it. Otherwise your perspective on reality can get a little skewed.”

    I couldn’t agree more!

  42. Ta for feedback on John Lamont. My name maybe Norse, but I am an East European Jewish migrant – Britain is a great melting pot – Celts, Picts, Romans, Norse, Anglo-Saxons, French (actually lots of French thanks to the Angevins as well as William 1st) , a Dutch conquest in 1666, Gerrman -etc – Black Africans have been here since the 15thC, and Asians followed soon after – that’s why it is so Great to live in these Islands; it is microcosm of the world.

    Anyway back to GDP – We are back to where we were 6 months ago – not sure how anyone can call that ‘growth’.

    Manufacturing growth great , but still low – I have orders for my small engineering business for the year – but margins are well down. Hope for an export order to Thailand though. But I know lots of people are struggling and forward prospects still look very bleak, especially as more people lose their jobs and confidence continues to fall.

  43. @RAF
    The PM wasn’t poorly briefed. He just makes it up as necessary in the knowledge that our tame print and broadcast media will by and large let him get away with it. I’ve just listened to a BBC commentator repeat as fact his falsehood that Miliband had predicted a double dip recession.

  44. Phil

    Sounds like a description of Labour in the 2011 campaign, doesn’t it?

    Any mention of Shettleston, however, is a reasonable excuse for mentioning McAveety’s bus. :-)


    “Spend and tax is a better philosophy than spend and borrow”

    We had an advocate of Spend, Tax AND Borrow-that’s why we are where we are .

    One of your Universities is paying the chap in question seventy grand for being “”distinguished global leader in residence”….so it does seem to pay off in the end :-)

  46. Sapper, how delightful to have you back on the thread after
    so long an absence.You cannot resist it can you! I am
    furious that I agreed with you yesterday.

  47. @OldNat
    Some down here view Scotland as but one region of many in the UK. The campaign’s going fine, thanks. For example, have you noticed the Con to Lab swing of 12% in Yorks and Humberside?

  48. @Phil,

    “Some down here view Scotland as but one region of many in the UK.”

    Lord, don’t bait him. He’s probably c&p’d that into multiple other blogs already.

  49. RAF and PHIL

    Thanks for all your addittional comments about Cameron and PMQs today – much as I tried to root for Gordon (who I believe will be much better treated by history than he is now) he wasn’t very good at PMQs but Cameron is truly ghastly because hie really believes he can get away with anything. This sort of over-confidence combined with that nasty public school arrogance which keeps showing through is going to come home to roost sooner rather than later!

  50. Hi Colin

    Tax spend & Borrow ????

    But UK National FELL from 43% of GDP to 37% of GDP between 1997 and 2007 – it only went UP during the financial crisis, as it did in every other major industrialised nation

    By all means complain about the balance of public/private expenditure – but claims that National Debt rose under Labour are simply not based in fact

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