Tonight’s YouGov/Sun voting intentions are CON 37%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%. Looking at the last week’s polling, it does appear that the narrowing of the Labour lead down to 2-3% points in the YouGov daily polling after the local/Scottish/Welsh elections was indeed mostly a temporary halo effect and we are now heading back towards the 5-6 point leads we had earlier in the year.

(Though of course, having said that there is just bound to be a poll showing a 1 point lead or something tomorrow that makes me look daft despite the fact that the average lead is clearly heading back upwards!)

106 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 37, LAB 43, LD 9”

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  1. Colin

    That sounds pretty fair to me. And if I lose my job and find another one and that is true of most of the others…so be it.

    But it is the finding another one and in what timescale. And think of public sector workers in the midlands and north and Wales and Scotland and the Sw…anywhere bu London and the SE.

    Will they get jobs the half million public sector workers out the door? And what happens to all the sandwich bars and other businesses that go under too when whole tranches of workers disappear?

    It’s a dice roll based on a hunch. When do the dice stop rolling?


    “I think the slip back into recession will last until the Government dispel the climate of fear they have created.”

    I am not aware of a single forecast of recession-at least not by the definition of two Qtrs. of negative growth.

    Are you?

    Of course-it goes without saying if it happens, that would be curtains for Mr. O

  3. Nick

    “It’s a dice roll based on a hunch”

    I think economists prefer “theory” to “hunch”………but it probably amounts to the same thing.

    No doubt the advisers who told Obama that spending/borrowing shed loads of dollars on “stimulus projects” would bring US unemployment tumbling down, also prefered “theory” to “hunch”.

  4. That’s all true, Colin.

    Naturally I prefer the hunch that doesn’t leave me out of a job.

    Mind you, I’m not certain that there is any way out of our current difficulties that we are going to like much.

  5. Nick Poole

    “I’m not certain that there is any way out of our current difficulties that we are going to like much.”


  6. @Colin

    “The problem is that LAs are arbitrarily reducing their fee contributions.”

    For a typical county council, spending on adult social services accounts for about half of their current spending.

    In the face of the deepest and most rapid cuts to government funding to local authority budgets since the war, combined with a freeze on council tax, I suggest to you that councils have no alternative but to either buy fewer places or to pay less for each place. There’s nothing arbitrary about it.

  7. @colin
    Apparently one of the “key” private equity providers in the Southern Cross deal, was a senior adviser to the RT Hon Anthony Blair MP QC former PM and Leader of the Labour Party. You cannot trust greedy capitalists with the old peoples well being. BTW, have you noticed the gentle implication from certain sources that the present government are in some way responsible for Southern Cross ?

  8. “You cannot trust greedy capitalists with the old peoples well being. ”

    well said.

  9. The new “government blunder” story breaking is that “Student Numbers will have to be cut” if the current funding plan remains in place, because the government severely underestimated how many Universities would take up the £9000 Fee if you ‘increase access’. The Government simply doesn’t have the capital to pay the upfront cost of tuition for the number of expected applicants taking out loans. They would in essence have to either reduce student numbers in total, or just reduce the number of loans offered. Either that or make some kind of drastic u-turn.

    This one could be very very damaging. Those currently getting ready to send their kids to college are going to be directly affected by this, and will already be ill disposed to the government after the “extra places for the rich” story. And it piles a fresh load onto the “inept and incompetent” narrative building around the Government.

  10. JayBlanc
    When I heard this earlier my immediate thought was gov incompetence.

    Ministers would have been praying the issue was fully behind them, and dead and buried. Now it’s suddenly sparked into life again.

  11. “Once lost via ill-considered policy initiatives that backfire, you don’t get credibility back.”

    Michael White in his blog entry for yesterday – The March of Folly.

    This from a seasoned and platitudinous member of the chatteratti who was withering about Brown et al, and has thus far been broadly sympathetic to Cameron.

  12. @ Robert Newark

    “The reason Labour are ahead on Tax is probably because there are more people receiving benefits in the UK, than there are paying tax!

    Correct me if I’m wrong but in the US, is it not the case, generally, that if someone makes good and becomes wealthy, everyone congratulates him/her & says, ‘If he/she can do it, so can I’? In the UK, the general attitude is, ‘He’s got rich, that’s disgraceful, we should increase his taxes’ because if entrepreneurs get rich then so should we ‘cos we are jelous.
    It’s a disease that exists whoever is in power here, just the degree alters slightly between blue & red. Indeed it’s endemic across Europe as a whole.”

    Hmmm, interesting point about more people receiving benefits than paying taxes (if that’s correct). I don’t like the attitude that there’s something wrong or disgraceful with being wealthy. I also don’t think anyone should ever be punished for being wealthy. With that said, people should pay their fair share in taxes. And especially right now where you have deficit policies that favor the interests of the wealthy over the needs of the working poor, allowing the wealthy to continue receiving large tax cuts is kinda unseemly.

    As for the American attitude, I think that’s mostly right. It has it’s drawbacks though with those who worship those who make money. And there are attitudes that “the rich are better and smarter than you and I” which I really don’t like. I’m sure though that rich people in Europe feel that way too even if a majority of the population hates them.

    Of course, that reminds me of the paradox that the top 1% votes solidly Democratic and the 20% who mistakenly think they’re in the top 1% vote overwhelmingly for Republicans.

  13. Nobody hates Richard Branson. We working people hate being shafted by the rich, we don’t hate the rich per se.


    YouGov/ASH Scotland

    ‘Survey reveals most Scots agree with the government’s tobacco laws’
    – The poll, conducted by YouGov, asked 1,021 adults for their opinions on suspending the right to sell tobacco for businesses found to have sold or supplied tobacco to under-18s more than once.
    They were also asked about their thoughts on requiring local authorities to maintain a register of all retail outlets which sell tobacco.

  15. @Nick Poole
    Nobody? Not even none of us unfortunate enough to use Virgin Trains?

  16. those, not none

  17. @JAY BLANC
    This is the best news I have heard this week. The ridiculous Labour view that anyone who can read and write (kind of), should waste 3 years at university, getting a poor degree that is very unlikely to gain them employment,
    should not be perpetuated by this government.

    Regarding Richard Branson, I don’t think Jenson Button is very keen. When Virgin sponsored Buttons team a couple of years ago, there was feathers and snot everywhere because Branson hit on Jensons girl friend.

    To hell with the Specce and the New Statesman, I just luv Hello.

  19. SoCalLiberal

    “Of course, that reminds me of the paradox that the top 1% votes solidly Democratic and the 20% who mistakenly think they’re in the top 1% vote overwhelmingly for Republicans.”


  20. @LordTory

    I agree, best news this week. Rubbish degrees will not help anyone get a job.

  21. At least one university will go bankrupt in 2012. That’s my predicition. I wonder if the government is planning bailouts or not?

  22. Stuart Dickson

    A ban that should have been imposed a long time ago has been delayed because the courts have been protecting the human rights of the drug dealers!

  23. @Lord Tory, Howard

    The Conservative Party may have a hard time selling to aspirational parents the idea that only the select few are entitled to go to college.

  24. @The Other Howard

    People bemoan ‘worthless degrees’ such as Film Appreciation and Event Management… Yet the city and politics seems to employ so many with thirds in Classics…

  25. @ PHIL

    “There’s nothing arbitrary about it.”

    I accept your correction of what I said.

    20% of councils cut the total they paid in fees last year, and only a very small number of local councils actually raised their fees above inflation rate.

    The charity, Age UK, says that councils have paid an average rise of just 0.8% over the past year, well below the rate of inflation of almost 5%. This has meant that care home operators have had to make drastic cuts to balance their books.

    BUPA’s director of UK care homes, Oliver Thomas said: “We have experienced councils demanding fee reductions, some by as much as 20%, but for many this is the third year in a row that any fee reviews have been significantly below the rate of inflation.

    The Birmingham City Council example is interesting :-

    They backed away from a plan to cut fees paid to residential and nursing home owners by seven per cent.
    After a meeting with representatives from the private homes , city officials announced that an across-the-board cut will no longer take place.
    Rather than cut fees by seven per cent, the council intends to maintain existing levels for the time being – the second year running a zero increase has been imposed.

    But the private owners, who provide 90 per cent of residential care in Birmingham, said that BCC is happy to continue paying twice the private sector fees rate to look after elderly people in the four remaining council-owned homes.

    This whole area is a time bomb waiting to explode.

    @ Lord T

    “Apparently one of the “key” private equity providers in the Southern Cross deal, was a senior adviser to the RT Hon Anthony Blair MP QC former PM and Leader of the Labour Party. You cannot trust greedy capitalists with the old peoples well being. BTW, have you noticed the gentle implication from certain sources that the present government are in some way responsible for Southern Cross ?”

    Yes I read that… these days-the way things are going with the Labour Party , a criticism of this government, and a criticism of the government lead by TB are interchangeable, and entirely indistinguishable from one another. :-)

  26. Jayblanc

    Surely you aren’t suggesting that the upper echelons of the London scene emply nepotism?

    Heaven forfend that this should be so! :-)


    I am not a Tory and I am not against the concept of University Education for those who aspire to improve their lot in life. However I am against worthless degrees which waste resources which could be better spent elswhere e.g. more apprenticeships.

  28. @ Colin

    …a criticism of this government, and a criticism of the government lead by TB are interchangeable, and entirely indistinguishable from one another.
    DC styled himself: The heir to Blair. If he takes the credits he gets the debits too. ;-)

  29. Regardless of people’s opinion about how worthwhile university is, it’ll be the squeezed middle whose kids will be squeezed out of a university place, if there are fewer places.

    Political dynamite… therefore there will be another u-turn from DC.

    Will those who are on here saying that the reduction in places is a good thing be quite as ‘chuffed’ when a bucketload of the money that “is all gone” is found & thrown at this?

  30. @The Other Howard

    People may doubt that Oxford and Cambridge’s “useless” degrees will be abolished in favour of the technical college’s vocation related degrees.

  31. Amber

    It always looked like the English Tory plan for their Universities would come adrift. Either they would have to reduce funded places (with all the dire consequences that would have outwith their elite ones), or they would need to find more cash (with the Barnett consequentials).

    That is why both SLAB and SNP took the correct line that University education would continue to be publicly funded here, knowing that the exact comparisons with England wouldn’t become clear until the English “reform” had unravelled.

  32. “because there are more people receiving benefits in the UK, than there are paying tax!”
    This is a little bit of a distortion of the situation – but let’s play along and actually look at the figures.

    29.24 million people are in employment – so there are approx 29.24 million tax-payers (excluding some pensioners and those paying capital gains?).
    Source: ONS

    Now let’s look at the benefits system – Source: IFS –
    Approx 30 million are on some form of social security benefit. But..
    12,490,820 are pensioners.
    So if we remove the pensioners (who receive approx 41.6% of all benefits), we get approx 18 million.
    So we have more tax payers than benefit claimants – once you remove pensioners.

    1,940,300 are on incapacity benefit. 3,137,730 are on disability. 479,430 are on ESA (which means that they’re
    Those sick and disabled take up a total of about 15.
    Surely backing the sick and disabled isn’t just a Labour scheme?

    1,187,600 are on income-based unemployment benefits. 292,400 on contribution based benefits.
    So for your ‘people are on benefits!’ talking point, you’d have to remove the contribution-based claimants.
    The unemployed account for 2.6% of total benefit claims.

    7,769,880 receive child benefit. Costing a total of 6.33% of the total benefit cost.
    So most of these people are tax-payers – and this is a benefit that is backed across all parties.

    2,457,900 are on working-tax credit. So surely they’re tax-payers?
    Low-income workers (you know, taxpayers) take up 22.1% of the total benefit cost.

    So if you take a ‘There’s 29.24 million taxpayers! There’s 30 million claimants!’ talking point, you could claim quite rightly that there are more benefit claimants than tax payers – but the figure is extremely misleading.

    To reiterate – in case it was missed in the list.
    If you remove pensioners (the largest group on ‘benefits’ – 40% of claimants) from the 30 million figure, you get approx 40% more taxpayers than benefit claimants.
    And if we look at who over 60s trust on tax – it is the Tory party (35% to 31%).

    So we can throw your talking point right back at you –
    “The reason The Tories are ahead on Tax for over 60s is probably because they are the largest benefit claimant (in people and in money) group!”

    “If Osborne really wants to cut the deficit, then the best way to do it, would be to cut taxes & benefits at the same time. If you want to work, you get rewarded, if you don’t, then that’s up to you but don’t expect to sponge off the hardworking.”

    41.6% of benefits are claimed by pensioners – 22.1% are claimed by low-earners (not ‘spongers’) – that’s 63.7% of the cost.

    Let’s assume that half of the people on sick and disability (and fraud is nowhere near that level – but let’s follow the narrative), that’s another 7.6% of the cost that’s legitimately claimed.

    So that takes us up to 71.3% of the cost which is legitimate.

    Let’s add contribution-based unemployment claimants – that’s 0.58% of the benefit cost.
    So that takes us to 71.88%.

    So, let’s take families, who claim 18.1% of the total cost of benefits.
    Let’s assume that out of the 7.7 million that claim, only half are from legit hard-working people.
    So that’s another 9.05% of the cost.

    Total of 80.93% of the benefit cost taken by legitimately ‘hard working people’ (assuming that half of sick/disability claimants and child benefit claimants are fraudulent/from the unemployed).

    So where are these massive savings going to come from?

    Or do people on low-paid jobs not count as hard-working?
    I’d love to see a Tory politician try to claim that.

    The problem with these sorts of simple narratives, ‘There’s 30 million dole scum out there! We could save a fortune if we just slashed the benefit bill!’ ignores the fact that a majority of benefits are claimed by the elderly, the disabled, the sick and hard-working families.

    So the narrative is not only misleading but if taken as policy would be damaging – not only financially for those pensioners, disabled and hard working families – but also damaging for the party who enacted them in the polls.
    Because while the initial narrative would give them a polling boost – nobody likes lazy people sponging off the state – the polls would slump once reality hits and the legitimate find themselves as ‘the victims’.

    This is the problem (with all political parties) giving simplistic narratives – once the narratives are mismatched to reality, the party who proposed the policy find their polling support slump.
    We can see this with everything from ‘Saddam could launch within 45 minutes!’ to ‘We will vote against any rise in tuition fees!’.

    Hopefully the post wasn’t too partisan – I tried to keep it within statistical truth.
    And sorry for the long post.

  33. @ Old Nat

    I think Scotland can look forward to playing host to a fair few students from England.

    I keep meaning to look into what English students pay for Scottish Uni, what the fee rationale is & how it compares with the fee structure/ rationale for EU & international students.

    Do you know of any good websites which have the information I need?

  34. Also – on university fees.
    If anybody’s going to suffer any sort of polling hit from the news about university numbers being cut because of the cost of the tuition fees, it’ll be the LibDems.

    Not only did they break their original promise – they also promised that £9000 would be the exception, not the rule (broken) and that the high tuition fees wouldn’t mean a reduction in numbers (soon broken?).

    Tory supporters (and those with Tory sympathies) tend to support a reduction in the number of university placements – so such a result could actually lead to a boost in Tory polling – although not at the expense of the LibDems.

    (Assumption would be that it would be LibDem to Labour and Labour to Tory).

  35. “479,430 are on ESA (which means that they’re”
    Should read ‘ESA (which means that they’re working, surely?)’

  36. “Those sick and disabled take up a total of about 15.”
    Should read “15.2%”
    Proof reading fail!

  37. Lord Tory, well if the current state of reporting is hard on the Tories, god knows what it was on GB.However as you
    rightly say it is pointless to argue about,congrats on your knighthood.

  38. Amber

    “DC styled himself: The heir to Blair. If he takes the credits he gets the debits too”

    I wasn’t complaining my dear :-)

  39. Amber

    Sorry. It’s not an area that I’ve been looking hard at. AFAIK the exact details of fees for English students at Scottish Unis weren’t being spelled out until there was clarity about what was actually happening in England.

    Most stuff I’ve come across has been “what ifs” rather than accurate analysis.

  40. And perhaps to discuss actual polling –
    I think that Cameron’s claim of real-terms increases in NHS funding will come to bite him.
    If the economy doesn’t improve as fast as he’d hope (all sorts of external shocks that are not Osborne’s fault could happen – collapse of Greece/Spain/Portugal, second financial crash, a natural/ecological disaster, etc) then he will have to go back on his promise or make further cuts elsewhere.
    Both would be unpopular move and be an easy set-up to spin for Labour.

    It’s a big risk and I’m surprised he’s made it – if the risk pays off, it’ll mean big polling gains but if it doesn’t…

    And according to a New Statesman/ICD poll (1000 responses), Labour lead the Tories 27% to 23% for ‘best party to run the NHS most effectively’.
    This chimes with yougov’s latest figure of 39% for Labour to 25% to the Tories for who could handle best the problems in the NHS.

    Which puts the Tories at a major disadvantage for an initial starting point.
    Which makes their problems of risk on NHS reforms (which may be completely out of their hands) even worse, in terms of polling futures.

    I’m reminded of ‘Read my lips, no new taxes’ or ‘I’ll shut down Gitmo’.
    Politicians may find that, through no fault of their own, they can’t keep major promises and will suffer because of it.

  41. Oh – and on the actual taxation question – I’d say that Labour’s lead over the Tories on who would best handle taxation is an outlier.
    Tories are usually out ahead – 11% is their highest lead. 1% is Labour’s highest lead (which it is currently).
    The previous figure was Tories ahead by 6% for handling taxation.

    Sorry to spoil certain narratives about the reason for Labour’s lead over the issue of taxation – it probably didn’t really exist in the first place.

  42. Has anyone heard anything that would confirm a Twitter message quoted on PB?

    “joncraig joncraig
    Labour MPs tell me writ for Inverclyde byelection – after death of MP David Cairns – will be moved in HoC tomorrow, meaning poll on June 30.”

  43. Nick Poole

    ‘Nobody hates Richard Branson. We working people hate being shafted by the rich, we don’t hate the rich per se.’

    Hmmm! RB – someone who has shafted more than most. Ask Mike Oldfield on whom RB’s empire was originally founded.

  44. @Colin
    “But the private owners, who provide 90 per cent of residential care in Birmingham, said that BCC is happy to continue paying twice the private sector fees rate to look after elderly people in the four remaining council-owned homes.”

    Given your source, it may be a case of “they would, wouldn’t they?”, so I’m not going to accept the private owners’ claim of a 100% difference in costs at face value. If it were that great I suspect that m’learned friends might have stepped into the commissioning process by now.

    But accepting that there is nonetheless a significant disparity, however wide it might be, let’s look at the reasons why the private sector rate might be lower.

    Private homes typically charge much more for privately funded residents because individuals seeking a place don’t have the purchasing clout of councils or health authorities to negotiate better block rates, so there is a degree of cross subsidisation going on. Also, most of the costs are staffing related, so we are looking at either lower staff to resident ratios in the private homes, or lower wages. The former might imply inefficiency on the part of council run homes, but it might alternatively arise from better care standards. And as for wages, we’re not talking about six figure salaries. This is a sector notorious for low pay on the minimum wage, and if council staff happen to be paid above that and have a small employer contribution to their pension scheme to boot, then that’s not a problem in my eyes.

    Finally, my local authority, like yours, relies heavily on private sector placements. The few remaining council run homes have been turned over largely to short term respite care rather than long term placements, as part of strategies to support care in the community. With very short term placements it’s harder to maintain high occupancy rates. In such circumstances cost per occupied place comparisons do suffer, but that is because we’re not comparing like with like.

  45. Was I alone in feeling somewhat sorry for the benighted Vince Cable yesterday as he made his baleful and ineffectual speech at the annual conference of the GMB in Brighton yesterday? Let’s ponder, for just a moment, his excruciating predicament. When in opposition, he made the most effective and cogent attack on the recklessness of the bankers of any current politician. In the Shadow Chancellor TV debates he shredded Osborne to pieces on the Tories wholly wrong responses to the global financial crisis and decried their proposed deficit reduction plans should they form a government. He looked and sounded a genuinely radical and cerebral politician.

    Compare and contrast the pre-election Cable with the feeble and diminished man we saw in Brighton yesterday. Sent scuttling there by his new masters to mouth sub-Thatcherite threats about further reducing the rights of unions to take industrial action, he cut an unhappy and unconvincing figure. Embarrassingly, he started by attempting to ingratiate himself with his audience by saying that he once used to work for the Labour Movement. It cut little mustard and his bumbling peroration was either listened to in stony silence or, in its worst passages, loudly heckled.

    The final humiliation was left to the very end. As he shuffled away from the podium and off the stage, his crumpled notes grasped tightly in his nervous hand, one of the delegates at the front of the hall shouted, “thanks for increasing the Labour vote, Vince”. He glanced in the general direction of the delegate, a bemused and almost befuddled expression on his worn face. He said nothing and shuffled on his way.

    All very sad because, in the right sort of government where he isn’t being used ruthlessly as an unwitting dupe and fig leaf, I think he was once a man who had much to offer British politics.

  46. Tinged Fringe Good post & very interesting but you confirmed my original post in your 2nd para. There are more receiving benefits than pay tax. Many, who receive any benefit, be it pension, child allowance or whatever will err to the party that is likely to increase their benefit and increasing taxes on the well off doesn’t affect most of them, so they are in favour of that. Hence the balance of the poll originally referred to.

    However, it was proved in the 1980’s that reducing the level of taxation increases the tax take because in increases the will to work, as the government steals less of what you earn and it also reduces the desire to dream up tax avoidance schemes. Those kind of people form businesses & create employment, further increasing the tax take.

    You are right, few object to paying fair taxes, however we passed that landmark (of fair) long ago. The question is, what is a fair level of taxation? It is certainly not a 50% rate which was introduced, not for the money it would draw in (which is probably negligible) but for purely political purposes.

    In terms of benefits, quite simply too much is paid to too many people. There are red lines obviously. We should pay a decent retirement pension to everyone of retirement age who has contributed to one. We should support genuinely disabled people but if they are capable of some work, then they should be expected to do some. Similarly, those who have genuinely fallen on hard times should be supported for a short time, until they are back on their feet again.

    However we just cannot afford the massive benefits system that has been spawned over the last 20 years. Everyone should re- learn to live within the levels of their earnings and not expect others to pay for them.

  47. @Crossbatn

    Cable’s problem was exemplified by the start to that speech. It amounts to “I *used* to be on your side, but now…”

  48. Latest YouGov CON 36%, LAB 44%, LD 8%.

  49. Stuart


    Glad that I’ve been leafletting there for the last couple of days!

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