It looks as though yesterday’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll showing a Labour lead of four points was indeed just a blip – tonight’s poll has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 44%, LDEM 9% – very much in line with the average Labour lead of 8 points or so that YouGov have been showing for the last six weeks.

110 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 35, LAB 44, LDEM 9”

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  1. I know I shouldn’t, but – I told you so. ;)

  2. Normal service has been resumed.

  3. No change on ‘Which gov would you like to see – a Con gov with Cameron or Lab gov with Miliband’

    39% Cameron
    38% Miliband
    While I’m sure the Tory-spin machine is looking positively at the figure, that’s extremely close.

    There hasn’t been much change for the Ed-Lab figure (a range of 37-39 since April) or the Cam-Con figure (a range of 38-42 since April).

    Slight dip in support for cuts, but I haven’t had a good enough look at previous figures to draw any conclusions.

  4. DC surely would get a boost from Libya…He has stuck with it,despite reverses showing leadership..Well done to him

  5. Well I did say “The Tories shouldn’t be dancing in the streets yet (apart from anything else they might get locked away for years)”. Obviously they have been and are unable to answer any more YouGov polls.

    Tables are now up here:

    No Libya questions (Anthony how could you do this to us?)*

    It also contains my favourite cuts questions, and they’re not good news for the government with a consistent change of 3 or 4 points against their position. This may possibly be due to refusal to change policy on cuts to the police etc and also maybe suspicion that cuts in youth provision etc may have exacerbated the riots.

    *Actually it’s because this has the Afghanistan questions in it – it’s the only one of the cycle that doesn’t have the Libyan tracker. But I’m still sulking.

  6. I have said it before and i will say it again, nothing changes for Labour until we start seeing the Tories move down from their election vote of 36%. Labour’s 44% is extremely soft and i would expect these numbers to drift back to the lib dems if there was an exit from the coalition and a change in leadership.

  7. Before I have any confidence of the stability of any change I want to see corroboration of some kind.

    A bad performance at PMQ or fraction of a percentage change in some economic or employment statistic isn’t going to be enough unless sustained month after month for a year or more.

    Labour can lose that 4% it’s just that it will take them a year to do it. They need to try a bit harder. I’d advise them to try drowning pet rabbits as well. That should do it.

    Or they could support tuition fees for Scotland, and that would make them as popular as the brave Scottish Conservaives who do so already.

  8. New Phone hacking details – Andy Coulson continued to receive hundreds of thousands of pounds while director of communications for the Tory party.

    That could be an embarrassing story for Cameron – whether he knew or not, it gives the perception of a deeper connection between Murdoch and Cameron.

  9. DC/Tories won’t get any lift from Libya in my opinion. A lot of the work being undertaken by Royal Airforce, Navy and the various government agencies has not received much publicity over recent months in the media. Ministers have made the odd comment, but I suppose they want to keep it low key, as the Libyan people are supposed to be the ones driving change.

    On a different matter, Andy Coulson is reported to have been paid by News International, while he was also employed by the Tory party.


  10. Good evening after a MUFC victory.

    Very well done to the PM on Libya.

    Apart from that, the economic news looks bad, I think, apart from the budget deficit news (temporary)
    livinf standards
    claimant count
    ILO figures

  11. That’s more like it :-)

  12. Here is the poser as Labour seem to have held a lead in the polls for quite some time. Was Labour’s defeat in the GE just an anybody but Brown vote (paricularly as Tory support didnt rise considerably since 2005). I prefer to think that is the case and the strong LIB Dem vote was a result of voters not wanting to back the Tories.

    Of course now going forward, can the Tories boost their vote, it is very tough for an incumbent government to do this, or will their be a gradual backward slide as is more likely as the governement will no doubt face scandals as all governments do.

  13. More than just embarassing I would have thought,potentially absolutely toxic.

  14. ATTAD, yesterday was bliplet….

  15. R Huckle

    The Coulson thing isn’t much of a story. It seems to be severance pay spread out over a period – possibly to go into two tax years.

    Unless it can be shown that the delivery of the payments was contingent on Coulson doing or not doing something (and there are rumours in the current Eye of some NI severance payments where that is happening) then there isn’t much to see.

  16. Exactly the same thing has happened on other weekends, a narrowing of the lead and the Lib Dems back up to 11. Then when Monday comes the lead widens and the Lib Dems are back down to 9 until the next weekend. You Gov must do something different in their weekend poll – a bigger sample perhaps?

  17. Have been waiting anxiously all evening for these figures. Very relieved and pleased.

  18. @Epochery

    I tend to think that Brown’s “same old Tories” warning did not carry enough weight, because thirteen years had passed, and Cameron had given assurances that he would maintain public services and make savings only through efficiencies.

    Predominantly left leaning voters will think twice, at the very least, before lending their vote (on the advice of The Guardian for example) to the LD party in future.

  19. After tonight’s business-as-usual poll showing a 9% Labour lead, I expect the Tories to get some vicarious, albeit transitory, benefit from Gaddafi’s likely demise, rather in the same way that Blair and Labour did after wall to wall news reporting of Saddam’s fall in Iraq and the iconic TV images of the felling of his statue in Baghdad. Fat lot of good it did Blair, or his party, in the long run, however, and Cameron, similarly, has no way of really knowing how the conflict he joined will eventually play out. Still, we all like “winners” and his supreme and well-finessed presentational skills will ensure that he exploits the political dividends on offer for all they’re worth.

    The question that still bothers me about Libya is this, though. Why the obsession with removing Gadaffi from amongst the many murderous tyrants still plying their trade in North Africa and the Middle East? In strict foreign policy terms, we have much greater strategic interests elsewhere in the region and his threat, probably always exaggerated, had been more or less neutralised in recent years. The idea that he was threatening a massacre in Benghazi was always dubious to me, as was the claim that the NATO mission was exclusively intended to protect the civilian population and nothing else. We couldn’t even argue that our oil security interests were being threatened either. As I said, I’m baffled by the obsession with, and the extraordinary importance attached to, the man and his country.

    My inclination was that Gadaffi was more or less a busted flush anyway and was almost certain to be deposed by the rebel forces gathered against him. We undoubtedly accelerated his demise but at the cost of leaving Western fingerprints on what should have been an indigenous and wholly Libyan uprising. I fear lingering problems as a consequence.

    Maybe Sarkozy and Cameron sensed an easy win and some cheap kudos.

  20. Coulson.

    Bought and paid for Murdoch man. Didn’t they notice he still had the company car? Health care?

    This won’t necessarily change voting intention but it will polarise it, with people’s worst fears confirmed. Coulson still on payroll when he committed perjury (allegedly). Mulcaire still paid, Goodman still paid till massive settlement.

  21. Libya isn’t enough either. DC didn’t do any of the fighting.

    In view of their record so far, it isn’t a partisan commnet to say that the government’s Achillies heel is the U-turn. Not that it is a bad thing to admit your mistakes, for sometimes it is prudent to stop and listen to objections as the SNP have done with sectarianism.

    It’s good to listen, and get it right, but especially when there is a big majority and backbenchers become impatient with ministers for lack of progress, and there is a desire to implement favoured projects (not necessarily favoured by the electorate) then fundamentalists may press to push ill-thought-out ideas through just because an election is approaching.

    People can see when the natural consequence of one policy is in direct conflict with another. Cutting police numbers will increase crime not reduce it. Closing prisons will increase rather than reduce the need for probation officers. The spin that it won’t make any difference won’t be believed even by people who approve of one half of the conflict, or even by people who accept that the consequences are a price worth paying to reduce the deficit.

    Which comes back to the distinction I made on the previous thread about believable lies and unbelievable lies.

    If that sort of spin becomes routine, then VI and approval will be on an inexorable slide.

    They could say: “We have to cut schools, hospitals or police. If we cut the prison population to the levels of Ruritania, we will need fewer police to catch criminals, and fewer probation officers to look after them when they come out, but we just can’t afford it and willl just have to accept that there will be easier to escape being punished for less serious crime – like traffic offences.

    That might even be popular.

  22. Brown was just the unappealing face for what was a tired and deeply mistrusted Labour party; some of the people I know who voted – or said they voted – Liberal Democrats all cited reasons other than Brown. But I’d have to despute that these are then “soft” Labour voters who’ll return to the Liberals once they get rid of Clegg; all of those that I’ve since spoke to have bitterly regretted their vote and said they won’t be doing so again – so Labour depending on how appealing they are, otherwise stay-at-home I’m guessing.

    Anyway I think the anti-cuts “swings” are just a reversal of the previous weeks’ more favourable figures. I’ll have to check.

  23. @Crossbat11
    “Why the obsession with removing Gadaffi from amongst the many murderous tyrants..”

    Other tyrants would not have been recognised by the populace at large and therefore deposing them would not have benefited either leader (Cameron and Sarkozy) politically.

  24. John B Dick

    I doubt such honesty would be looked upon favourably if it went in parallel with chucking out the 50% top rate.

  25. On the subject of John B Dick’s beleivable and unbelievable lies:

    The coalition has from day one justified their policies on the twin grounds that there was no alternative and that Brown had bankrupted Britain. The deficit was his fault through overspending and that was why we had to cut, cut, cut because otherwise the “markets” would punich us.

    I think all those lies are either unraveling or about to do so, and it will only be the partisan Brown haters who will still be insisting he overspent and thus bankrupted the whole western economy and more important, it will be clear that austerity for most of us but tax cuts for the rich is indefensible.

    Watch this polls. It really is the economy, stupid.

  26. Tingedfringe

    “New Phone hacking details – Andy Coulson continued to receive hundreds of thousands of pounds while director of communications for the Tory party.”

    Do you think either employer ever stop to think whether they got value for money in employing this man?

    I’d bet they don’t. They think t’s all bad luck and somebody’else’s fault or “people that I relied on” to use Rupert Murdoch’s phrase let them down.

    If he really was so smart as to justify his pay, then how is it that he got caught?

    Do the numpties who recruited him (DC included) feel foolish?

  27. OK this is soft mid-term support but, nonetheless, sometimes we should all marvel at the deep-rooted popularity of the Labour Party.

    When one considers that Labour suffered its second worst election defeat ever, the long run of solid leads at 40%+ is a tremendous comeback. It means that millions of people have switched and are saying (even if they don’t really mean it) that they are comfortable with Labour.

  28. I sort of recall AW deducing that Coulson’s resignation would be less significant (pollwise?) than Alan Johnson’s, and that the only effect at all might be the loss of Coulson’s “common touch”.

    To be fair though, the whole damned conspiracy hadn’t hit the spinning thing.

  29. It looks like, when James Murdoch is called back in, he’ll have to be questioned on this matter – as well as his possibly misleading the committee over the cover-up of e-mails.
    “Q268 Mr Sanders: The New Statesman carried a story last week that News International subsidised Andy Coulson’s wages after he left your employ. Can you shed any light on that?
    James Murdoch: I have no knowledge of Andy Coulson’s wages after he left the company’s employment.”

  30. @IanAnthonyJames

    “OK this is soft mid-term support but, nonetheless, sometimes we should all marvel at the deep-rooted popularity of the Labour Party.”

    Do you think that there might be a few more people than the Blair/Brown loathers would like to think who actually quite liked one or two things that the last Labour Government did? I mean, not all mothers ate their babies, disease, poverty and pestilence didn’t entirely stalk the land and total darkness didn’t completely descend between 1997 and 2009, did it?

    Maybe those oft traduced and so called benighted years weren’t universally detested after all! lol

  31. TingedFringe

    To adapt the joke during Watergate –

    “What did the Chairman know? And when did he stop knowing it?”

  32. And on actual polling trends – if we see the Lab figure continue to be on 44, it points to quite a rapid increase (post-riots) in Lab’s fortunes (I know that +1 isn’t a very big jump, but considering how slow changes are usually..) and could point to bigger leads.
    This would mean that the Tories had been damaged by the riots.

    It could, of course, just be back to 43s.

    It becomes more difficult to try to make guesses on the trends when you get distorting outliers…

  33. The way I see things, there are ways the LD’s can get their support back allegedly temporarily loaned to Labour. Things like getting rid of Nick Clegg, getting out of government, saying no to more cuts, doing a big fat u-turn on Tuition Fees, etc etc. Only a few of these things seem vaguely possible before the next election, most are pretty much impossible right now and the damage done in terms of plausibility will take a long time to reverse.

    I think a lot of this “loaned support” may well be what might be called the “student union block vote” which swung enmasse behind the LD’s in 2005 due to Iraq, and seems to swung back again, taking some leftish LD’s with them to Labour.

    Worse, it seems that Ed Miliband is trying to move Labour away from its trade union past towards being a sort of 2nd Liberal party, covering similar ground and more besides.

    I don’t think this new support is obviously softer than any other swing vote group. I think the Conservatives may gain from Labour if the economy improves (that seems unlikely for now, later on, who knows?)

    If those Derby polls are the slightest indication of what is going on in the Midlands, then the Cons are in some trouble. It’s all very well piling up zillions of votes in the south east, that will never get them a majority on its own. It may be the only region they will do really well for some time.

    What may be the biggest problem for Labour is the election campaign. I can see Cameron winning more TV debates, if we have them.

  34. “Q1741 Tom Watson: So your sole income was News International and then your sole income was the Conservative Party?.

    Mr Coulson: Yes.”
    Looks like Coulson might have some questions to answer also..

  35. KeithP

    I can’t see Ed Miliband running from televised debates. Pretty sure they will be a permanent fixture as whoever is behind will see it as a last roll of the dice, and whoever is ahead can’t afford to be seen running scared and the LDs will be there to say “don’t forget about us”.

  36. I think Epochery is right, even if it pains me as a Labour supporter to say so. If there was a GE tomorrow Labour would probably lose – and maybe perversely by winning fewer seats than now while getting a higher % vote overall than in 2010.

    Labour are clearly regaining their lead position in the North and Wales. The Midlands are up for grabs. Scotalnd is now a conundrum. Above all Labour’s unpopularity in “the Beautiful South” – which is partly historic – remains. Never in the field of human politics did one region show such little gratitude for enjoying the highest standard of living it has ever achieved. Blair gave them the lot to cajole them to vote Labour – a gigantic share of the NHS budget, full employment, the lowest taxes in Europe, low crime, brand new commuter trains, massive defence spending , the best schools – and they predictably responded by giving Labour very little in 2005 and virtually nothing in 2010. That’s their privilege of course. But its debatable whether Labour is acting in its own interests by continuing to spend a vast proportion of its scarce resources trying to persuade the South to abandon the Tories and LibDems.

    For Labour, the Midlands and North West are the key – plus restoring Labour’s position in Scotland. Ed needs to spend most of his time on the streets of Worcester, Gloucester, Cardiff, Bristol, Norwich, Northampton, Bolton, Preston, Trafford, Chester, Stockport, Bury, Blackpool, Southport, Lancaster, Carlisle, Crewe, Stafford, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Shrewsbury, Telford, Rugby, Redditch, Sheffield, Leeds, Dundee, Aberdeen and Glasgow. And in the London seats which Labour holds. Not Gravesham. Not Portsmouth. Not Dover.Not even Crawley. Not in Tory-held London “marginals” which Labour won’t win back in 2015. The polls suggest Labour won’t even win the London mayoralty back next year from an amusing but flawed Etonian intellectual snob who should be easy prey for a Labour Party in London that was half-serious about winning, but instead re-selects a candidate who is divisive, boring, out of date (remember his paeans of praise for Gaddafy) and a likely loser. The South is a write-off for Labour in terms of GE gains. Just look at recent Council by elections which show Labour falling back in much of the South outside the inner cities. Accept it. Do the Tories waste time and money in the Welsh valleys, Birmingham, Manchester and most of Scotland in GEs? They know who and where their supporters are. Time Labour smelt the coffee…there are easily enough marginals outside the South to secure a working majority. Look at South Derbyshire. Focus on them for the next 4 years .

  37. Alan,
    I don’t think it will be a case of Ed Milliband running from debates – much more likely is a failure of the parties to agree the format.. Labour can reasonably refuse to debate with two coalition leaders – the LibDems are likely to decline a format that sees Clegg – or his successor – debating with Labour’s deputy – Harriet Harman.

  38. Welsh Borderer

    “Scotland is now a conundrum.”

    Until we get some polling, it will continue to be! Ipsos-MORI should be publishing its quarterly Scottish poll soon (unless they have abandoned it?)

  39. @ Crossbat

    “Do you think that there might be a few more people than the Blair/Brown loathers would like to think who actually quite liked one or two things that the last Labour Government did? I mean, not all mothers ate their babies, disease, poverty and pestilence didn’t entirely stalk the land and total darkness didn’t completely descend between 1997 and 2009, did it?
    At a famiiy party recently I asked [I mean polled of course] ] a group of young educated people/students who had introduced the Minimum Wage — a measure dear to their hearts. I received two answers: the Labour government of 1945; M. Thatcher! When I said G. Brown, they disbelieved me; I then put on a BBC webpage giving the then details of Brown’s policy: one said: “that website is wrong!”
    The achievements of the last Labour Gov are/were not recognised, but the Labour party seems as responsible for that as anyone else.

    This is an anecdote: but polsters never ask people about their political knowledge, only their opinions.

  40. Alan,
    I don’t think it will be a case of Ed Milliband running away from debates – much more likely is a failure of the parties to agree the format. Labour can reasonably refuse to debate with two coalition leaders – the LibDems are likely to decline a format that sees Clegg – or his successor – debating with Labour’s deputy – Harriet Harman.

  41. @ Weslh Borderer

    Your polemic made great late-night reading,!but are you not a bit dismissive of London as a battle-ground? Johnson won in 2008, but the London swing to the Tories in May 2010 was pretty miserly. Or do you have evidence of recent bye-elections. I guess next year’s London elections will provide the best testimony.

  42. RobbieAlive

    “who had introduced the Minimum Wage ……… M. Thatcher!”

    Did they think you meant who had reduced wages to the minimum? :-)

    Incidentally, did you see this research project?

    “Premature deaths were 30% higher and all deaths were 15% higher [than Manchester and Liverpool]. The reason for this is not known and a number of hypotheses have been put forward and three are to be tested as part of this study.
    These are:
    – Values Hypothesis – people in Glasgow have different values eg different psychological outlook in terms of their aspirations or time preferences and attitudes towards risk taking.
    – Social Capital hypothesis – there are lower levels of social capital in Glasgow compared with Manchester and Liverpool.
    – Political Attack hypothesis- Glasgow’s poor health derives from particular (‘Thatcherite’) policies of the late 1970s/80s.”

  43. @ Oldnat

    Comparing Glasgow with Manchester/Liverpool makes perfect sense, given the similarities between the cities in many respects: eg., all are blighted by wide areas of multiple social deprivation & all have a reputation for poor health. [There is no point in comparing chalk & cheese.] The differences in mortality rates are thus all the more horrific, given that we start from such a high English base.
    The task of unpicking the causes of differential urban mortality rates, however, is notoriously difficult in population studies, both for contemporary & historical demographers. I’m glad it’s someone else’s job!

  44. @ Colin (from the last thread)

    “Of course her gender, rather than her politics might explain her view.

    If I was a woman , that is how I would feel about this particular man.”

    See now, I think most women are a lot smarter than that. :)

    Rushing to judgment against a politician merely based on a mere accusation or suspicion without any evidence at all is something that unfortunately is done by members of both genders.

    Speaking of wrongfully accused politicians, I just read a great book, “Finding Chandra” about the Chandra Levy case. It amazes me how people quickly jumped all over Gary Condit simply because he was a Congressman and was clearly a womanizer. He was completely innocent and yet had his career destroyed based on absolutely no evidence at all.

  45. I’m not sure it would be a good idea for Ed M to spend time on the Glasgow streets, but he could do worse than spend time with Henry McLeish.

  46. Behind Times paywall:

    “Harris set to open up Labour’s lacklustre leadership contest”

    “… The Labour backbench MP Tom Harris has emerged as a surprise challenger for the role of Scottish Labour leader. The Glasgow South MP is considering putting his name forward for the role after criticism that the party does not have a suitable candidate at Holyrood. He is the first senior Labour figure outside the Scottish Parliament to express an interest in the job…

    The emergence of Mr Harris as a possible leadership contender would spark the contest into life. Johann Lamont, the party’s Holyrood justice spokeswoman, is seen as the favourite to win if the competition is confined to MSPs, but few in the Labour group appear to be backing her with any great enthusiasm. Ken MacIntosh, MSP for Eastwood, is reportedly having second thoughts about entering the fray. However, Mr Harris will be able to stand only if the party review currently under way changes the rules to allow MPs to enter the contest. The review is expected to recommend that the new leader is given a stronger mandate, which would put him or her in charge of the party in Scotland instead of merely leading the group of MSPs at Holyrood, as at present…

    One senior Labour MSP said: “I think it probably does have to be an MSP. We have to knuckle down and sort out our own problems.” However, he conceded that electing a leader from the current ranks of MSPs would give the party a “problem in the short term”…”

    Johann Lamont is “favourite” is she. She certainly has the shortest odds in the (stone-dead) Betfair market.

  47. Welsh Borderer,

    – “Ed needs to spend most of his time on the streets of… Dundee, Aberdeen and Glasgow.”

    Oh please please please please please please please please please please please. Pretty please!

    Very good comments.

    You were well educated at Crown Point.

    (in same year as one of my brothers, Tony, and one year ahead of another, Simon)

    It will be the economy at the end.

    As with John Major’s government, the personal stories, for example, Mr Coulson, will exacerbate it.

    Still needed is a critique from Ed miliband The Chris Mullin article recently in THE TIMES is good on this.

    Fair play, though, to the PM on Libya

  49. @ Stuart Dickson

    “Oh please please please please please please please please please please please. Pretty please!”

    Be careful of what you wish for. It’s always the politicians we underestimate who somehow wind up winning. That’s why I won’t laugh at any of the GOP candidates for president, as laughable as they all are….well except for Rick Perry (when even Sarah Palin says you don’t really do that much as a governor and when Reagan’s former chief of staff says that everyone agrees that you’re an “idiot,” you know got some serious issues).

    As for Labour’s leadership race for the MSPs, I think Ed wants to be strategic to protect himself from challenges. So he probably wants a leader who will not outshine him and he probably wants a leader who will prevent any Scottish MPs from challenging him. But he doesn’t want a complete bozo who will cause’ Labour to have an even worse election result. That’s why I would imagine he’d want Ken MacIntosh in charge of the Labour MSPs. That’s my gut feeling anyway. Ed’s very Machiavellian.

  50. Labour’s VI continues to consist of large numbers of people who simply don’t like cuts of any kind. If Labour were in power and having to make cuts, they would be down at 25%. Once the cuts have actually been made, Labour will then have to argue for increased spending to be funded by (1) higher taxes or (2) higher borrowing.

    Once Miliband has to grasp the nettle of the role of trade unions and issues like tuition fees, along with the whole question of how their funding plans would stack up, this soft underbelly of support is likely to melt away.

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