Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%. This is the lowest Labour lead that YouGov have recorded since back in January, and follows on from a three point lead in the YouGov/Sunday Times poll.

As regular readers will have noted, I don’t normally give much credence to a single poll showing a shift in support – more often than not it is just normal sample variation. Two polls in a row showing a shift looks more meaningful. While it’s not beyond the realms of possibility to get two outliers in a row, and it’s possible that tomorrow will go back to an 8 point lead, it’s starting too look as though the polls are narrowing again.

There’s no overwhelmingly obvious reason for a narrowing in the polls – it seems a bit delayed for a riots or Libya effect – but perhaps they’ve just fed into a perception of things going somewhat better. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.


162 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 39%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%”

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  1. Interesting. The next polls might reveal a different picture but on the basis of the last two, my feeling is that this has something to do with Ed Miliband failing to make much of a mark as potential PM despite circumstances being rather favourable to his doing so.

  2. I have no particular objection to a wealth tax, either personally (I don’t have any wealth) or politically (I don’t consider keeping the very rich very rich to be the purpose of conservative politics).

    I do still think that an attempt to cream significant tax income from the UK assets of wealthy individuals would probably result in major changes to what wealth they hold, and where.

    We might well find a lot of assets being dumped, with falls in the value of whatever it is we chose to tax. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it might limit the overall size of the bonanza. It might also drive some very rich people to relocate, with consequent effects for the Treasury on a number of fronts.

  3. Nick POOLE

    If you think those who are dependent on benefits are living the life of riley, I suggest you try it sometime.

    Interesting thought but adding to the numbers on benefits hardly helps the economy. IDS is taking a different approach trying to get some of those on permanent benefits to try work. This could help get UK out of the pickle it has been left in. Not only will it reduce benefits, it will increase the number of tax payers and if any of those involved in this work export, reduce our equally appalling balance of payments deficit.

    In my working life I became redundant and went on the dole as it then was. It was a terrible feeling not having a job and depending on the state to care for me. Fortunately I was not long unemployed and have not had to endere this nasty expereince again.

  4. @alec

    In reality increasingly what happens is if that old lady can’t pay her council tax but doesn’t quite qualify for council tax benefits they’ll first send the bailiff over to seize her stuff then if that doesn’t quite settle the bill start involuntary bankruptcy proceedings and forcibly sell her home. Some councils are getting quite ruthless as budgets are squeezed.

    The is only going to happen more often after Eric Pickles slashed the budget for council tax benefit by 10% and devolved the nasty business of actually deciding where the axe must fall to individual councils. Pontius Pilate localism in action!

  5. Neil A

    I have no particular objection to a wealth tax, either personally (I don’t have any wealth) or politically (I don’t consider keeping the very rich very rich to be the purpose of conservative politics).

    I can’t disagree with your post Neil. However I think that what usually sets out to be a tax on the very rich becomes a tax on middle income/ middle income wealth, and only achieves loss of incentive for the hardworking. It is not the very rich that keep the Tories in power, although their donations come in handy, it is those who work hard, achieve a degree of success and often save money, buy a house etc. The worst thing the Tories can do is to financially clobber these people who make up a good proportion of their support. I anticipate that after 2012 this is the group that will be rewarded with tax decreases on earnings, stamp duty, inheritance tax and long term capital gains.

  6. Berious
    The is only going to happen more often after Eric Pickles slashed the budget for council tax benefit by 10% and devolved the nasty business of actually deciding where the axe must fall to individual councils. Pontius Pilate localism in action!

    Certainly that is one way to look at it. On the other hand the freezing of Council Tax has been a boon to many, particularly after many years of increases well over the rate of inflation. Keep Council tax down and keep hands off other people’s property and most home owners I suspect will be happy and re-elect Tory/LD Coalition.

  7. @Diggety Dawg

    To some extent, I agree… But he’s also been unable to just wade in, without also going back on his pledge to allow the party time to come up with a new platform. The instances where he has been able to send a clear message without treading over the Labour Party Policy Review, have been limited. But he did make the best out of some of them.

    This looks to be a very interesting party conference season, with Labour’s policy review showing it’s first fruit and perhaps allowing Ed to go on an offensive. And will the Lib Dems come up with another emergency motion demanding government change one of their policies? Will they be satisfied that the changes made to the NHS reforms met the last conference’s demands? The only boring Conference is probably going to be the Conservatives, unless they have another surprise policy to announce that even their coalition partners didn’t know about…

  8. Martyn @ OldNat

    “It occurs to me that if the referendum takes place during this term of the UK Parliament (and from the dates you outlined, it probably will), then the outcome of *that* will probably have a great effect on the 2015 UK Parliament election: much more so than Europe, Libya, rots, economy, etc.”

    The converse is the interesting outcome. If a dozen or more SNP’s put Labour into government with fewer votes and seats than Cons, the referendum will be a post-election sideshow and the civil service will be in overdrive making preparations for independence.

  9. @John B Dick
    “If a dozen or more SNP’s put Labour into government with fewer votes and seats than Cons, the referendum will be a post-election sideshow and the civil service will be in overdrive making preparations for independence.”

    Even with 20 SNP MPs, so long as there were more Conservative MPs than Labour, I can’t see how that would be mathematically possible.
    e.g. 20 SNP
    10 LD
    15? Northern Ireland
    277 Labour
    278 Con
    600 Total

    Lab+SNP = 297

    Not that I agree with the second part either.

  10. Following AW’s and other comments, I think it must be clear what the problem is for LD activists. I’ve no idea what activists for Green (except in Brighton and possibly Norwich or Cambridge) and UKIP or BNP activists anywhere, are motivated by, ever, in an FPTP environment.

    For LDs, it’s the feeling that if one is defending narrow FPTP majorities (most LD majorities are) what on earth is the point, under present polling, of even bothering to deliver a single leaflet in such a constituency in the next 4 years, at least assuming LD activists can add up.

    This assumes a heaven-sent event does not arise soon. :-)

  11. Howard

    In my constituency we are working round the clock to get Councillors elected, defend seats we already have and challenging where Labour or Tory holds the seat.

    Hopefully this will support our MP in the longer term. It has worked in the past.

  12. Phil @John B Dick

    Maybe not 20 but 22+. There is a number where it is so, and it’s well below the number you get if you put the SP election FPTP votes into the Weber Shandwick prediction for Scotland.

    I didn’r say it would happen, we need more polls to even have the slightest hunch, but it certainly could.

    A nightmare for the Labour leader if he has to choose between government and the SNP.

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