There are two new polls out tonight. Firstly YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%. This is something of a narrowing of the Labour lead, in the last week leads of 8 points or so were becoming pretty standard, but I’ll add my usual caveat about being cautious about any single poll that shows something useful: sure, it could be Labour’s lead falling in what will be the first poll taken since the hacking saga has (temporarily) fallen off the news agenda, but just as likely it’s an outlier and we’ll be back to bigger Labour leads tomorrow.

Tomorrow we’re due the GDP figures, so perhaps it’s also worth a look at the regular YouGov trackers on cuts in today’s tables. The broad picture remains as we’ve seen for much of this year – a majority of people (53%) think the cuts are being carried out too quickly (27% about right and 8% too slowly), 46% think they are too deep (27% about right and 10% too shallow), 48% think they are bad for the economy (36% think they are good). However, despite all this 57% of people think they are necessary, and people are still more likely to blame the last Labour government than the coalition.

Secondly we have the monthly ComRes telephone poll for the Indy. Topline figures with changes since the last ComRes phone poll are CON 34%(-2), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 13%(+2), Others 13%(-2), so once again the Conservatives taking a small knock from the phone hacking saga.

The other questions are on the phone hacking saga. 65% agreed with a statement that the phone hacking scandal showed News Corp were not a fit and proper organisation to own part of BSkyB. There were also some questions asking if people viewed the party leaders more positively or negatively as a result of the phone hacking saga – these suggest that people view all three more negatively, but I’d suggest that tells us more about the deep uselessness of asking questions in this format! Proper tracker questions asked before and after the phone hacking saga reached its peak, asked by YouGov, MORI and ComRes, all show pretty conclusively that perceptions of Ed Miliband have increased substantially, even if respondents themselves don’t realise it!

UPDATE: There is also a new Angus Reid poll, their first since April (I thought they had faded away!). Topline figures with changes from April are CON 34%(+3), LAB 41%(-1), LDEM 10%(-1). The poll was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday last week.


183 Responses to “New YouGov and ComRes polls”

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  1. @CrossBat,

    Also, you are confusing ambivalence with a lack of political convictions. You can have strong political views and a clear political orientation without having a strong/any political allegiance. Many voters fall into this category as they don’t feel that any of the parties currently represent their views.

  2. @Ronnie,

    No, I think you have posted in a fairly balanced way, especially compared to many on here. I always try to use a more scientific approach too. I reckon it’s something to do with my background in mathematics and accounting.

  3. @Ronnie
    Could it be because the Tories, and their 36%, were already at their core near enough? Their election share wasn’t exactly anything to write home about – one of their worst in fact.

    @AmbivalentSupporter
    Which minor centre-right parties? The obvious place to look for lost Tory vote is UKIP, and they’re certainly not centrist.

  4. Craig

    “The obvious place to look for lost Tory vote is UKIP”

    The most interesting bit of the YouGov tables is the current destination of the 2010 vote for the main 3 UK parties.

    Comparing the pattern in mid Nov 2010, when they started with yesterday’s poll is quite revealing.

    16/11/2010, Con, Lab, L_D
    Con, 92, 2, 18
    Lab, 2, 93, 34
    L_D, 1, 1, 39
    Oth, 4, 3, 9
    NV, 1, 2, 6
    DK, 10, 9, 21

    26/07/2011, Con, Lab, L_D
    Con, 88, 2, 9
    Lab, 5, 93, 44
    L_D, 1, 1, 35
    Oth, 7, 4, 12
    NV, 4, 2, 4
    DK, 10, 8, 19

    Difference, Con, Lab, L_D
    Con, -4, 0, -9
    Lab, 3, 0, 10
    L_D, 0, 0, -4
    Oth, 3, 1, 3
    NV, 3, 0, -2
    DK, 0, -1, -2

    While it would need a more detailed analysis than mine to suggest the probable destination of lost Con votes – your suggestion isn’t supported by these data.

  5. Craig

    In yesterday’s poll, the lost 2010 Tory vote went

    Lab 5% : UKIP 5% : BNP 1% : LD 1%

  6. Well I did say “the obvious place”, and these past few months rise of UKIP coinciding with the Tories fall, as the main non-Tory right-of-centre party has lent to that.

    The March aggregated figures of lost Tory voter have UKIP narrowly ahead in 2010 vote/party ID, so it’s still not a bad place to visit.

    But the point I was trying to make was which minor centre-right parties are we talking about here? Britain seems to be lacking a minor centrist Christian Democrat type party that most of Europe has. The figures seem to suggest they’ve gone to Labour or further right parties mainly.

  7. @Craig,

    Yes, by ‘small centre-right parties’ I meant UKIP. It would have been correct for me to have termed UKIP a ‘right wing’ party instead of a ‘centre-right’ one.

    @OldNat,

    I think there is definitely growing evidence that Labour is now benefiting directly from the Conservative slump. This is a very important and significant development for Labour.

  8. ^Yep, I agree with all of that.

  9. AmbivalentSupporter

    “Labour is now benefiting directly from the Conservative slump.”

    Isn’t “slump” a rather excessive description for the Tories on the GB figures?

    Con has lost 12% of its 2010 vote (10% going to DK), while gaining 2% of the 2010 Lab vote and 9% of the 2010 LD vote.

    Lab has lost 7% of its 2010 vote (8% going to DK) while gaining 5% of the 2010 Con vote and 44% of the 2010 LD vote.

    19% of the 2010 LD voters are DK.

    That looks to me like a situation where there is potential for a significant change in the event of an actual election, where (presumably) most of those who voted in 2010 will vote again.

  10. Oops!

    Ignore previous post – I shouldn’t try to do arithmetic at this time of night. :-)

  11. The Telegraph & Boris Johnson are calling for a bold strategy to bumpstart growth.

    So what are their daring & inventive ideas?
    1. Cut NIC (which the lowest paid are exempt from); &
    2. Remove the 50% tax rate (benefits the richest 3%).
    3. There is no 3; 1 & 2 are all they’ve got.

    Does anybody else think the above policies could shift a further 5% of 2010 Tories over to Labour?
    8-)

  12. @Amber Star and Old Nat

    Good Morning, off on hols soon for a week or so.

    The figures do seem to suggest that Labour has made some ground and cannot me written off for 2015.

    This is especially the case since economy seems so flat.

    The PM seems under pressure, as well, from the Tory right

  13. An interesting article about Lab’s prospects at the next GE, by HenryG Manson on the Political Betting website.

  14. For my figures weighted against the past-30 days (to eliminate outliers), the government approval figure has reached a new record low of -27.1.

    Labour lead (6.8) is still 0.6 away from the record (7.6) but that could be reached in two weeks if the Tory VI stays in decline and Labour gains (requiring -0.3 and +0.3).

  15. Tingedfringe

    The fall in gov approval is almost an imperceptible trend with regular upticks hiding the long-term gradual decline.

    Looking at the figures over one or more months the underlying trend is obvious.

    But I think some event(s) could eiher accentuate or reverse the trend. The poor GDP figs for Q2 may or may not be such an event. Personally I think not.

  16. @Mike N

    On the PB article, while no political party can stand still, it could be a mistake to turn the 2010 defeat into too much of a fetish.

    “…. being considerably outspent in many marginal seats” was definitely a factor imo, and it will be interesting to see if there are signs of very soft Tory support in the Ashcroft marginals.

    Having made the decision to stick with Brown, election literature ignored his existence and did nothing to counter negative media portrayal.

    Being deserted by the Murdoch papers was one thing, but the FT (dispite deep reservations about Osborne) and the especially the Guardian were a body blow to the self confidence of the party.

    Other non-aligned papers opted for a “hung parliament”, while broadcast media were either strongly pro-Tory or weakly followed a “time for a change” narrative. That left the Mirror as the only Labour supporting news outlet.

  17. Billy Bob
    “…it could be a mistake to turn the 2010 defeat into too much of a fetish”

    Aye, but there is a need for Lab to ‘renew’ and to be seen by joe public to renew itself.

    As I’ve pointed put several times since EM was elected to Lab leader, he is in a very different position to DC when he became Con leader.

    EM has quickly to apologise for the last Lab gov, and begin putting forward alternative policies that will resonate with the public. Quite a challenge I think.

  18. @Amber,

    “So what are their daring & inventive ideas?
    1. Cut NIC (which the lowest paid are exempt from); &
    2. Remove the 50% tax rate (benefits the richest 3%).”

    I don’t think a single/set of policies would make a massive difference for the Tories. Whether they are re-elected depends almost totally on how the economy is doing come 2014/2015. If it is in a much better shape, I think they would easily take enough off Labour. If not, then Labour will get a majority.

  19. Sometimes people post funny things. Here’s one from the Guardian website about the economy…

    “Hey, you lot, leave George alone…I’d like to see you run an economy and meet with NI minions every three weeks…”

  20. What odds on Cameron reaching out to Gordon Brown to ask him to take over as chancellor of the exchequer ?

    Just kidding.

  21. Amber

    Cutting NIC (which the lowest paid are exempt from) and removing the 50% tax bracket is hardly in the spirity of “we’re all in this together”.

    I can’t see DC GOing for this, as IMO it would be a serious political mistake.

  22. raise the threshold at which NI contributions are paid

    Reduce both employer & employee rate by say 1 or 2%

    Take the ceiling off contributions

    then abolish 50% rate of income tax as they would be paying nearly 10% more NI

  23. chrislane,

    From 1932 (after we left the Gold Standard) to 1937 (when re-armament was really starting to get going) economic growth in the UK was 3.2% per year, peaking at 6.8% in 1934. That’s well above our long-term trend. The National Government era was a period of EXCEPTIONAL growth, as well as budgetary responsibility.

    The history of British growth and recessions suggests that it’s monetary policy that is important, not fiscal policy. Right now, our monetary policy is still a little too tight. QE2 UK would be a good idea, but it won’t happen.

    The lesson of the 1930s in particular is that loose monetary policy can offset the effects of fiscal contraction on growth.

    (Cameron doesn’t think that QE2 would work, but he’s not the brains on Downing Street, Osborne is.)

  24. Nick Poole

    The 50% tax rate kicks in at £150K income, whereas the reduction (from 12% to 2%) in primary Class 1 NICs applies from the higher rate point which is £42,475.

    I can’t see DC and GO increasing the NICs rate as this would affect a large group of voters who might usually be seen as voting Con.

  25. @ Ambivalent

    I don’t think a single/set of policies would make a massive difference for the Tories. Whether they are re-elected depends almost totally on how the economy is doing come 2014/2015. If it is in a much better shape, I think they would easily take enough off Labour.
    —————————————————-
    I was thinking about the immediate impact if the government chose to ‘bumpstart’ the economy with the 2 policies suggested by Boris Johnson. IMO, NIC & tax cuts which benefit wealthy people, would be politically untenable in the current economic circumstances.

    Perhaps they could be part of a wider package come 2014/15, if the economy is on the up… but there would need to be something for everybody or such ‘rich friendly’ policies would enrage everybody else.

    In isolation, IMO, reducing the tax burden on the richest would shift a lot of voters over to Labour.
    8-)

  26. @Amber,

    I don’t personally think that the policies suggested by Boris would make much difference to economic growth in the short term. I think even reducing VAT back to 17.5% would only have a minimal impact.

    “In isolation, IMO, reducing the tax burden on the richest would shift a lot of voters over to Labour.”

    You may be right, though I think most who are strongly against supporting the wealthiest/richest are probably not Tory voters anyway (generally) – with many having already now switched to Labour. Though I guess it could shift support by the odd percent or two – enough to bolster Labour support slightly. Then again, as many of the wealthiest voters are now also starting to turn against the Tories perhaps it could have the effect of winning a few back for the Tories? Whichever, it would make it more difficult for the Tories to sell the idea that ‘we are all in this together’.

  27. @Amber,

    “Perhaps they could be part of a wider package come 2014/15, if the economy is on the up… but there would need to be something for everybody or such ‘rich friendly’ policies would enrage everybody else.”

    The cynic in me says that the government will definitely do this anyway. They’d even put the country into further debt if it increased their election chances.

  28. @ Amber Star

    “I was thinking about the immediate impact if the government chose to ‘bumpstart’ the economy with the 2 policies suggested by Boris Johnson. IMO, NIC & tax cuts which benefit wealthy people, would be politically untenable in the current economic circumstances.”

    Ceratainly the 50% rates has a political dimension .

    Labour tore up an election pledge to introduce it-and it was introduced by Darling to put DC on the spot in reacting to it.

    ie it was a political stunt by Darling to show that his deficit reduction plan would hit ” the rich”. THere was always a question about how much it would raise vs the costs of collecting it.

    That is why GO will not move on it until his proposed study in the answer to that question is completed.

    Meanwhile Boris is quite right to call for UK top rate tax to be internationally competitive. He runs the capital city-a major engine of economic activity in UK , and heavily reliant on globally competitive sectors like Financial Services.

    As Boris indicates, 50% top rate is now only exceeded by the Nordic countries + Netherland & Belgium. So we are now less competitive on this factor than countries like FRance & Germany-as well as USA & Japan-not to mention the Asian economies.

    If the 50% rate does not collect significantly more revenue than it’s marginal cost of collection, there is a strong economic case for ditching it which will have to be balanced against the political risk in doing so.

    GO has not been shy about making a call like that before……..and getting it right :-)

  29. IMO the marginal cost of collecting the 50% rate of tax is paltry. It can be no greater than the marginal cost of collecting tax at 40% from a taxpayer.

    I suggest this marginal cost is a smokescreen.

  30. MIKEN

    You may be right-but if the 50% rate has not generated a significant additional revenue, it will still be a valid & neccessary question to ask-what is the loss to UK economy & total tax revenues resulting from £x of net additional income tax ?

    You would only not wish to ask that question if the 50% rate was purely a party political policy. For Conservatives that won’t be the case.

    If GO decides that the 50% rate is unhelpful to the UK economy, then it will be for EM/EB to defend it’s retention………..ie the game which AD played when he introduced it will be replayed.

  31. @AmbivalentSupporter

    ” You can have strong political views and a clear political orientation without having a strong/any political allegiance. Many voters fall into this category as they don’t feel that any of the parties currently represent their views.”

    I’m sorry, but I think this is nonsense. In fact, as my old Philosophy tutor once told me, it’s a classic tautology. I can well understand people who have no strongly held political views oscillating between parties and allegiances, or having none at all, but if you do have strong political views and opinions, it’s manifestly impossible to be so unaligned and dispassionate. I accept the party allegiance bit of what you say, although there is a multiplicity of parties in the UK and, assuming one has a particular set of political beliefs, I would think it’s possible to find a natural, if not a perfect home, but I can’t see how someone holding sincere and passionate political beliefs can disguise them.

    Tribal partisanship is a straw man of your invention and is not a quid pro quo alternative to ambivalence. A “my party right or wrong” is indeed silliness, but give me strongly and proudly held political opinions, even party allegiances, to faux impartiality any day. A good argument, conducted civilly, beats false bonhomie any day!

  32. Craig

    “Britain seems to be lacking a minor centrist Christian Democrat type party that most of Europe has.”

    Some of them are Scottish Conservatives, but there are a few economic right wingers in the SNP they don’t make a fuss bcause practicality of implementation trumps any theoretical political principle.

    They may become more visible after independence

  33. Mike N @ Nick Poole

    “The 50% tax rate kicks in at £150K income”

    I remember calculating personal tax at 19/6 (97.5p) in the £1.

    It was assumed that people generally saw it as a patriotic duty to pay it, not as an opportunity and invitation to avoid paying by some artificial means.

    We were all in it together, you see.

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