Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%. It’s at the top end of the Labour lead than YouGov have been showing over the last two weeks, but is probably just normal random variation (before anyone asks, it’s too soon really to see a Ken Clarke effect).

Meanwhile, turning to the other cabinet member under fire, this morning’s Sun also had a YouGov question on Chris Huhne’s future: 49% think he should resign, 29% think not, and 23% don’t know.


348 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 36, LAB 42, LD 9”

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  1. Given the last two weeks or so this is obviously an outlier-on-the-low-side for the Tories: though the Labour number is relatively consistent with medium term YG performance

    I have to say Huhne gives the impression of a man who has absolutely no intention of leaving the cabinet: no matter how many fingernails he has to give up.

  2. I know this hasn’t been factored into the data yet, but the Tories were unlucky today. Good unemployment data was drowned out by two huge news stories:
    (a) the Ken Clarke affaur and
    (b) the Stephen Lawrence development

  3. @raf

    “Good unemployment data was drowned out by two huge news stories”

    On the other hand however- two big stories were hidden within that ‘good news ‘ simplistic headline though: and drowned out by the two things you note (plus the catastrophe for the Home Secretary at the Police Federation conference):

    1) 12,400 extra people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance of whom 9,300 were women = the highest figure since October 1996. The number of male claimants rose for the first time since January.

    2) Further terrible news from the high street with new retail job losses announced.

  4. I think the Chris Huhne polling is Party political, rather than based on anything he has actually done – because nobody has proved that he did have somebody else take license points for him.
    8-)

  5. Yes the news hasn’t been very good for either coalition party today. The Tories have had a rather good run the last couple of weeks & it may be that the dynamic may change a little now.

  6. Details are here:

    http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/yg-archives-pol-sun-results-180511.pdf

    Approval is 32-55 = -23. Not a great believer in government approval, but it’s interesting that it remains in low rather than upper twenties as it was previously when be saw these sort of VI figures.

    UKIP are back to 5% and, for what it’s worth, the Scotland breakdown shows Lab 45%, SNP 30%. It looks like we’re settling back to the pre-locals position.

    On that subject, the one tracker published shows more people are back to saying about LA cuts that Central government is mainly responsible, because it is cutting sharply the money it gives to the council where I live. This leads 42% to 30% for My local council is mainly responsible, because it could achieve most of the savings it needs by cutting costs, without cutting services. That’s a change from 38% to 34% immediately before the elections and a reversion to the sort of figures we saw earlier in the year. No doubt Labour might have preferred it if this perception had been stronger just before the election rather than now.

    However the figure claiming to be not aware of significant cuts to services in my area is at its highest ever at 19% – and 27% among Tories. So it may well be that the greater targeting of cuts to urban areas is showing some effect.

  7. Amber

    I don’t know if you have seen this from Jamie Glackin.

    http://www.betternation.org/2011/05/scottish-labour-a-view-before-the-review/

    It’s going to be interesting to see how the proponents of Devo Max and the reluctant Calmanists in Labour resolve that policy conflict.

  8. @Raf – the unemployment data was good, but only in parts. The drop in unemployment and rise in employment, both very welcome, were for the Jan – March three month period – still affected by a mini bounce in the first 6 – 8 weeks of the year. The poor claimant count figures are from April, possibly reflecting the sharp reversal noted in many parts of the economy later in March and since then.

    As ever, single figures need to be treated carefully. While this news is good, it doesn’t necessarily mean the economy isn’t in trouble – we need a few more months data.

  9. Amber

    There seems nothing definite about the Huhne allegations and it seems whipped up out of not very much. But even the currently loyal Lib Dems are only 48% v 32% in favour and Tories are almost as against (47% v 32%) as Labour (55% v 25%).

    I think what we’re seeing is an instinctive anger against all politicians. Other/uncommitted voters are almost as opposed as Labour (I make it 48% v 25%).

  10. A bad day for Ken Clarke (to say nothing of sensitivities he has trampled upon) made worse by being photographed on his way to a black (bow)tie dinner tonight.

    The affable charm under strain, and today’s events will probably lead to another policy backtrack.

    As to the ‘intangible’ effects, Clarke was the Thatcher era politician that the current 40-something generation of Tory politicians took as style model; this is being seen as a fall from grace more damaging than Cable’s before Christmas.

    Many people, including those in the media, register ‘policy’ and day to day political events in almost a subliminal way, but then take the opportunity to express their outrage (synthetic or not) when a ‘media storm’ breaks.

    Miliband took his opportunity to edge into news coverage and challenge Cameron.

  11. Are government ministers deliberately looking incompetent, so that the press coverage is about them, rather that about the cuts they are making ?

    The first half of newsnight was about the government having a bad day, with only some comment that it was the need for cuts that was behind half hearted or unpopular policies.

    I thought that there was a saying in politics that if you became the story, rather than your politics/policies, that you had to go. Will Huhne and Clarke be gone by the end of the next parliamentary recess ?

  12. On the local cuts question, the “Rest of the South” (excluding London) has the highest proportion (34%) agreeing with the statement that:
    “My local council is mainly responsible, because it
    could achieve most of the savings it needs by cutting
    costs, without cutting services”

    But note that in the Rest of the South, a follow up question would have revealed that nearly all such responses would have been from areas with councils run by Con or LD majority or minority administrations.

  13. I have to be honest here and say that I’m surprised (pleasantly, of course), by how solidly the Labour vote share is holding up in these polls. I tend to agree with Anthony’s analysis that deeper unpopularity awaits the Tories and that the first 12 months of the coalition might be as good as it’s going to get for them. In fact, somewhat bizarrely, the last 6 weeks or so have been very good for them, certainly for the Conservatives, and I wouldn’t have been surprised at all to see Labour dipping below 40% for a while as Tory support rallied.

    Let’s reflect on some of the tailwinds that have blown in the Tories’ favour over recent weeks. Better than expected, and cleverly, spun local election results, a Labour fiasco in Scotland, a triumph in the AV Referendum, some cherry-picked economic news on unemployment and growth, opportunities for Cameron to grandstand on the world stage, “plunging” personal popularity ratings for Miliband, the NHS listening exercise, the Royal Wedding and some astute dog-whistling on raw-nerve issues like immigration and benefit fraud . Why, even the Mail and Telegraph are back on board and dutifully cheer-leading for Cameron’s Conservatives!

    So, to maintain VI ratings bobbing between 41-43% throughout this period of generally good news for the Government is encouraging for Labour and is starting to suggest a solid bridgehead has been established; one that can be built upon as the coalition takes on the inevitable collateral from the grind of unfolding and less fortuitous events. These will come as sure as night follows day.

    Today’s ructions caused by the Ken Clarke interview are typical of the sorts of pratfalls that can come out of the blue and bedevil a government who’s luck has started to run out. Huhne is an accident waiting to happen and two Tory Lords now await criminal trials and sentence on expense fraud charges. The police are getting twitchy on the forthcoming pay review and the NHS Reforms threaten trouble on a myriad of fronts. Cuts aplenty yet to bite too.

    We could be entering the stage that all governments reach where “never glad confident morning again” is the watchword as an increasingly shop-soiled administration sheds the last vestiges of freshness and vigour. All hard grind now and poll ratings that can only head south, I think.

  14. Tonight’s poll has a much lower proportion of 2010 Con voters than did last night’s. Most of the volatility since yesterday is going to be down to that.

  15. @ Old Nat

    I did tell you there are Labour Party activists/ CLP members whom I know vote SNP for Holyrood.

    Labour supporters aren’t brainwashed ;-) in any way. We have a variety of opinions within the Party regarding independence, devo max, Calman & the Scotland Bill that AS is currently discussing with the Coalition.
    8-)

  16. Amber

    Indeed I know people in Labour who hold many of these positions.

    The process of Labour redefinition will bring some of these views into conflict, as has happened before with consequent splits – like the Scottish Labour Party (which those outside Scotland may think is the name of your party :-) )

    It may well be that polling in Scotland will be affected as the LDs and Tories cleave to the Union Max line, while Labour tries to decide where it stands on the biggest fault line in Scottish politics (or tries to bestride the yawning crack till they fall into it.).

  17. Not going to get too caught up in it, but please can YouGov do one for Ken Clarke? I really want to see the men/women divide on this.

  18. I have just listened to this Ken Clarke interview, and
    I don’t think he did actually say what is being reported in the media storm.
    However, he does give the impression that he doesn’t understand the public’s concern about crime in general, and although I’m a supporter of him in genera, this is something the Conservatives need to address.

    There doesn’t need to be a choice between
    Rehabilitation, training and tackling re-offending
    vs being tough on crime.
    Both are needed.

    The elections this May showed that the Tories are holding Labour to about parity with them, and I don’t see anything to change that yet.

  19. Personally I think YouGov and the Sun should resign for asking rather a stupid question about Huhne before we even know whether he’s done anything wrong!

  20. @ Amber Star

    “Labour supporters aren’t brainwashed in any way. We have a variety of opinions within the Party regarding independence, devo max, Calman & the Scotland Bill that AS is currently discussing with the Coalition.”

    As Old Nat and I discussed earlier, there’s little about political views that involves true brainwashing.

  21. @ Old Nat

    So yesterday, I was telling everyone about my very British voting experience. This morning I looked at the election results. The candidate I voted for won narrowly and I looked at a breakdown of the votes. He won my precinct by 1 vote at least preliminarily. For once my vote actually made a difference….at least in my precinct. Of course, I don’t know if my mom’s vote or brother’s vote have been counted yet. Still fascinating. Turnout was abysmal, I think it was less than 2%.

  22. SoCalLiberal

    Less than 2%

    I think there was a Republican Primary in Charlotte NC where the turnout was less than 1%!

  23. @crossbat11

    “We could be entering the stage that all governments reach where “never glad confident morning again” is the watchword as an increasingly shop-soiled administration sheds the last vestiges of freshness and vigour. All hard grind now and poll ratings that can only head south, I think.”

    Several definite differences between this government and the one of ’97:

    The ’97 gov had to almost certainly face a reduction in its majority, as it had been so large;

    Both coalition parties are looking to improve their results; the Conservatives looking for an overall majority; the Lib Dems looking to turn around their popularity. Much of the next General Election’s results might rest on the SNP vote.

    If Labour shed MPs in the way they did MSPs, they will probably lose 20-30 MPs (requiring 40-60 MPs elesewhere just to maintain their position nationally). I wouldn’t have imagined such a situation three months ago, but then I never imagined an SNP overall majority at Holyrood.

  24. If anyone’s interested, I’ve put a little treatise on Ken Clarke’s “Gaffe” on the previous thread. For once, it’s a subject where I can claim pretty specific knowledge…

  25. @ Old Nat

    “Less than 2%

    I think there was a Republican Primary in Charlotte NC where the turnout was less than 1%!”

    It was a lone runoff for a college board seat and the race was non-partisan. I wouldn’t have cared at all about the race (and I really don’t) had I not received a last minute email informing me that one of the candidates was a Proposition 8 supporter and activist. Well I don’t want to see any bigots in office at any position (not even dog catcher). I would have likely voted anyway but because of that info, I actually wanted to know the outcome.

    There were only 15 votes cast in my precinct yesterday (which is normally a higher turnout precinct). I’m hoping that that number reflects only the precinct numbers and not the absentee ballot totals. :)

    That’s strangely low for a Republican Primary. Republicans tend to be far more reliable voters than Democrats. I know Democratic Primaries in Virginia have had single digit turnout. The conventional wisdom is that low turnout in a party primary means that party will lose in November because their base isn’t motivated. Yet I noticed low turnout in Virginia for Democratic Primaries in 2005 and 2006 didn’t translate into Democratic losses in the November general elections.

    I sometimes get the feeling that all these elections (even if enjoyable for one who likes politics and a nice paycheck for those who are willing to sit and work polling booths) tends to drive down voter turnout.

  26. @ Neil A

    “If anyone’s interested, I’ve put a little treatise on Ken Clarke’s “Gaffe” on the previous thread. For once, it’s a subject where I can claim pretty specific knowledge…”

    Thank you. I’ll go take a look.

  27. Neil A

    Thanks. That was illuminating.

  28. @ Neil A

    Sadly Mr Clarke has walked, like the amiable old duffer he is, into a po-faced trap set by people who should know better.
    ——————————————————-
    I think perhaps ‘they’ were making the point that Ken Clarke is an old duffer & not very comfortable with the current justice system.
    8-)

  29. Interestingly, after a short period of reflection and probably actually reading what Clarke said,some of the press, in particular the Indy is now beginning to question Milliband’s performance, in respect of Clarke’s comments.
    A day is a long time in politics, never mind a week. Poor old Ed may have jumped on the wrong bandwagon on this occasion.

  30. @ Neil A

    Ms May got a glacial reception from ‘your team’ today. She appeared to find the silence more unnerving than being heckled or booed.

    I think Ms May will feel deeply uncomfortable for a long time, whenever she recalls the experience.
    8-)

  31. @ Amber Star

    “Ms May got a glacial reception from ‘your team’ today. She appeared to find the silence more unnerving than being heckled or booed.

    I think Ms May will feel deeply uncomfortable for a long time, whenever she recalls the experience.”

    Neil could probably answer this question better. But are police officers generally solid Tories? If so, it’ll be interesting if Labour can make headway among traditional Tory voting blocs.

  32. @ SoCaL

    Yes, police officers are generally Tory voters, even in Scotland. ;-)

  33. “Given the last two weeks or so this is obviously an outlier-on-the-low-side for the Tories: ”
    I’m not sure I agree –
    Let’s take the last 10 yougovs –
    Tory – 36, 39, 38, 36, 39, 36, 38, 38 (First Post-Election Bounce), 36, 37 –
    Avg – 37.3
    High – 39, Low – 36
    So perfectly consistent with an unstable Tory VI that has yet to settle.
    Where it’ll settle? I don’t know.

    What we do know is that the inconsistency is partly caused by UKIP voters, who do rally back to the Tories at election times – so low Con figures need to have that taken in to account.

  34. TingerFringe
    “Tory – 36, 39, 38, 36, 39, 36, 38, 38 (First Post-Election Bounce), 36, 37 –
    Avg – 37.3
    High – 39, Low – 36
    ……….
    What we do know is that the inconsistency is partly caused by UKIP voters…………”

    I can’t see any inconsistency here. The last 10 results have been within 2% of the average. Isn’t the Margin of Error about 2%?

  35. Reading this morning La Repubbilca online (it’s the first thing I do upon switching my MacBook on), I stumbled upon the following statement by political commentator Sergio Romano. Speaking about the difficult succession in Italian center-right parties now that Berlusconi and Bossi are on their way out, he writes: “In altri Paesi, più felici del nostro, questo avverrebbe grazie a meccanismi ben collaudati come quello che ha promosso il giovane Ed Miliband alla guida del partito laburista britannico dopo il ritiro di Gordon Brown.” (In other countries, happier than our own, this would happen by means of well established mechanisms like the one that promoted young EM to the leadership of British Labour after GB’s resignation), I offer this as a point of consideration to those who are eager to criticize EM on his inexperience. We continentals, tired of our old politicians, consider the UK a happy country just for having the opportunity to promote young and fresh people to its highest charges.

  36. Virgilio

    It is interesting to see this.
    Thanks

  37. NEILA

    THanks for the piece on KC etc.

    All one needs to know.

    Sometimes KC’s default mode of blokeish saloon bar realist does him no favours at all. Why can’t he speak like the lawyer he is on occasions which require it?

    With the resignation of DSK, we will now have weeks of “will he get it / won’t he get it ”

    The opening salvo is encouraging ( or not depending how you see it ) :-

    “It would be difficult to have someone so responsible for the fiscal crisis in the UK at the helm of the IMF,”

    Anders Borg , Finance Minister of Sweden.

  38. @ Virgilio

    If it makes you feel any better, there’s been very little media attention (at least out west) focused on Dominique Strauss-Kahn, while massive amounts of media coverage has been focused on Arnold Schwarzenegger and his divorce and big family mess.

    Frankly, I think it’s a little excessive. Strauss-Kahn was the presumptive next president of France, Gropenfuhrer’s political career on the other hand was over. And okay so he diddled the maid, fathered a love child, and covered it up for 10 years. Big whoop. Is anyone really surprised? Well other than my surprise that this didn’t get discovered earlier? Unless he was illegally laundering money to support his secret family in Bakersfield, I really don’t think it’s relevant (albeit kinda entertaining).

    As for old politicians vs. new politicians. I think sometimes there is too much of a premium on youth in politics rather than sticking with those who know what they’re doing. Though more often than not, older, experienced politicians know even less.

  39. @ Amber Star

    “Yes, police officers are generally Tory voters, even in Scotland.”

    Lol. Most police officers in the U.S. are Republicans. My dad is an exception but he was merely a reserve cop and didn’t do it for a living. So I think he never was fully indoctrinated. There’s a city in Ventura County, Simi Valley, that has a massive population of LAPD officers. It’s a Republican stronghold that usually pulls liberal trending Ventura County to the right.

    I think if police officers are generally Tories, they’re likely alienated by Theresa May (who seems kinda oblivious as to the criticisms against her) but Labour still would have to work hard to gain the votes. I think in terms of disaffected military Tories, Labour is doing what it can to win over those voters.

  40. @SocalLiberal

    “As Old Nat and I discussed earlier, there’s little about political views that involves true brainwashing”

    I agree with you and the use of the word “brainwashed” to describe people who disagree with you is the sort of trite name-calling that brings political debate into disrepute.

    In this sad and skewed world, one man’s “deeply held political beliefs” are another man’s “brainwashed delusions”. Yah-boo and moronic tribalism at its worst. When debate gets to this level we might as well sing Gary Glitter songs at each other.

    “Do you want to be in my gang, my gang, my gang; do you want to be in my gang, oh yeahhh!!” lol

  41. @Virgilio – Mi piace!

    I wonder if “… il giovane Ed Miliband” might catch on.

    The Sun is backing him today for the opportunistic challenge to Cameron yesterday (BBC interpretation: calling on Cameron to sack Clarke has significantly reduced the PM’s room for manoeuvre on this).

    Sun readers are being given ‘permission’ to abandon Cameron, perhaps?

  42. New VI poll in Sweden – first time the 3 “Red-Green” parties (note: no longer working together as a group) have been ahead of the ruling 4-party Centre-right coalition government since well before last year’s GE.

    http://svt.se/2.22620/1.2430013/de_rodgrona_storre_an_regeringen

    … and in a separate poll: support for Sweden joining NATO plummets by 10 points. Thanks to Libyan campaign probably (Sweden has sent Gripen planes – causing a huge stushie).

    (+/- change from 2009 poll)

    23% for NATO membership (-10 points)
    50% against (n/c)
    27% undecided/DK (+10 points)

    http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/lagre-stod-for-nato-i-sverige_6176471.svd

  43. Aha! My first post is in the moderation queue (due to two links). Here it is, in case you are wondering why I’m linking to an article about a plane!

    New VI poll in Sweden – first time the 3 “Red-Green” parties (note: no longer working together as a group) have been ahead of the ruling 4-party Centre-right coalition government since well before last year’s GE.

    http://svt.se/2.22620/1.2430013/de_rodgrona_storre_an_regeringen

    … and in a separate poll: support for Sweden joining NATO plummets by 10 points. Thanks to Libyan campaign probably (Sweden has sent Gripen planes – causing a huge stushie).

    (+/- change from 2009 poll)

    23% for NATO membership (-10 points)
    50% against (n/c)
    27% undecided/DK (+10 points)

    ht tp://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/lagre-stod-for-nato-i-sverige_6176471.svd

  44. @ Colin

    “The opening salvo is encouraging ( or not depending how you see it ) :-

    “It would be difficult to have someone so responsible for the fiscal crisis in the UK at the helm of the IMF,””

    If your Prime Minister really truly believes that, you guys are in deep trouble. Because you’ve then got a leader who’s more interested in petty politics and actually believes his own talking points and spin rather than reality. And that’s never healthy.

  45. @ Stuart Dickson

    I’m kinda surprised to see desire for NATO membership so low. I never imagined it being so unpopular.

    @ Crossbat11/Nick H

    “I agree with you and the use of the word “brainwashed” to describe people who disagree with you is the sort of trite name-calling that brings political debate into disrepute.

    In this sad and skewed world, one man’s “deeply held political beliefs” are another man’s “brainwashed delusions”. Yah-boo and moronic tribalism at its worst. When debate gets to this level we might as well sing Gary Glitter songs at each other.

    “Do you want to be in my gang, my gang, my gang; do you want to be in my gang, oh yeahhh!!” lol”

    I think it goes beyond name calling though. I think it’s a philosophical thing, we don’t want to imagine that our neighbors are as selfish or bigoted or coldhearted or uninformed as we know them to be. So when we see a result we don’t like, we claim otherwise good and noble people were simply “brainwashed” as a way of coping with the reality.

    It’d be easy to say that California voters were simply brainwashed when they voted for Prop 14 in 1964, Prop 187 in 1994, and Prop 8 in 2008. If they’re brainwashed then they’re not bigots, they’ve just been afflicted by political brainwashing.

    When it comes to using “brainwashed” though as a namecalling too, it does debase and degenerate the debate.

    I have not listened to Gary Glitter. I did drive through some gang infested (or formerly gang infested) neighborhoods tonight. That was fun. :)

  46. @ Billy Bob

    “The Sun is backing him today for the opportunistic challenge to Cameron yesterday (BBC interpretation: calling on Cameron to sack Clarke has significantly reduced the PM’s room for manoeuvre on this).”

    I don’t think that’s a particularly bright or well thought out idea. I think Cameron is probably the best the Tories have right now as a leader and is probably one of the party’s biggest assets.

  47. Sweden: the centre-right coalition have been hit by quite a lot of bad press the last week or so – disappointing local election results in Örebro and Västra Götaland, while an extremely nasty workfare element of their unemployment policy has finally been covered by the press for the first time.

    It’s interesting to see the red-greens ahead because at least in Central Sweden, the press pretty much unanimously cheerleads for the government.

  48. @ Stuart Dickson

    “and in a separate poll: support for Sweden joining NATO plummets by 10 points. Thanks to Libyan campaign probably (Sweden has sent Gripen planes – causing a huge stushie).”

    Moron that I am, I forgot that Sweden isn’t part of NATO.

    “New VI poll in Sweden – first time the 3 “Red-Green” parties (note: no longer working together as a group) have been ahead of the ruling 4-party Centre-right coalition government since well before last year’s GE.”

    I’m kinda surprised to see how poorly the leftwing parties of Northern Europe appear to be doing at the moment (outside of Iceland and the Scottish Parliament that is).

  49. @SocialLiberal
    I agree with you, the political implications are totally different in the respective cases of DSK and AS, the second case is purely anecdotal, plus it is not a legal issue. Here in Europe instead, and especially in my two countries, France and Greece, it is top news in all media, papers, TV, online etc. (See an interesting article in today’s LeMonde, by psychoanalyst Serge Hefez, “Une mysterieuse autodestruction”). On a polling level, there is an interesting poll by CSA measuring VI for 2012 PE immediately before and immediately after the DSK-gate. It shows that the two major potential candidates, F. Hollande and M. Aubry, have gained 2-3 points in the 1st round scenarios. So, F. Hollande gets 29 (+3), Sarkozy 19 (nc), LePen 17 (nc), other center-left opp. candidates 22,5 (-2,5), other center-right candidates 12,5 (-0,5). On the other hand, Aubry gets 27 (+2), Sarkozy 21(+2), LePen 17 (-1), other c-l 21.5 (-1.5), other c-r 13,5 (-1).

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