Tonight’s YouGov/Sun poll has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 43%, LDEM 8%. Yesterday’s 2 point lead looks like it was just a blip, and the 6 point leads we’ve seen from YouGov lately are restored. Tomorrow will be the first chance to see if Ed Miliband’s speech has had any impact, though lots of the fieldwork will be done before people see the news tonight or the newspaper reaction tomorrow, so worth waiting until Thursday before drawing any conclusions.

509 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 37%, LAB 43%, LDEM 8%”

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  1. @Neil A

    “My political journey from centre-left to centre-right took place when I was about 12 years old and took about 15 seconds.”

    And it will probably be consolidated further in later life as dotage approaches (either that or you will acquire a predilection for erotic spanking!!)

  2. Priceless news from the world of Islamic terrorism. Apparently Al Quaeda have asked the Iranian government to stop claiming the CIA was behind 11/9. It’s a real classic, with shades of the People’s Popular Front of Judea etc etc.

  3. @ ICEMAN

    You were with Sarah Boyack. Has she any intentions of standing as leader. She would beat the presently announced candidates hands down I reckon – and would be quite effective as a contrast to the bombast of Salmond ( Gray mirroring it never worked)
    Jim & Sarah’s review isn’t finished yet & Sarah thinks that’s what she needs to be concentrating on at the moment. There’s a fair bit of support for her standing, if comments amongst the Scottish contingent at conference are anything to go by – but I’m not sure that she will.

    Ken MacIntosh, who I also had the chance to chat with at the conference, has stated his intetion to stand. I’d like to hear more about his ideas so I’m hoping to get an opportunity to talk with him again in the near future.

  4. @BlueJock
    “The other angle is that those of a left persuasion seem very desperate to talk up what was a pretty uninspiring speech.”

    Uninspiring to you but not to us. You will be doing the same when Cameron speak. We will most probably say rubbish and you will say great. A speech is great when you agree with it and not so great when you don’t.

  5. @Alec,


  6. R Huckle

    Atlee, Churchill, Wilson, Heath were hardly stunners, but they were PMs.

    Maybe they had attractive characteristics rather than superficial good looks, although with Heath I have no idea what they would be.

    IMO DC, TB, MT and on occasions GB spoke with authority, so perhaps that is one of the keys.

  7. Alec,

    You’re right that the world would keep turning and we’d all wake up the morning after a Euro crash. Stuff might still keep happening, but the crucial point is that if the banks go kaput, stuff will not keep on being made. And THAT is the really scary bit.

    I’ve been rather bemused since 2008 at the one issue that hasn’t been discussed by the commentariat. It WAS discussed tonight on Newsnight. That issue is social breakdown.

    There’s been a general assumption among the austerity drivers that the only potential downside of austerity is political unpopularity. It isn’t. The terrifying potential downside is social collapse. The end of the social contract that Paul Mason mused about in his article in Greece.

    You cannot simply manically drive down people’s living standards without them eventually reaching breaking point and reacting in an unexpected way. Lurch to the Far Left. Lurch to the Far Right. Or simply have the basic mores of the social contract evaporate.

    And if it breaks down in Greece, why not Portugal? Then why not Spain and Italy? And then, where does it stop?

    The parallels with the 30s are genuinely frightening.

  8. Alec

    “Priceless news from the world of Islamic terrorism. Apparently Al Quaeda have asked the Iranian government to stop claiming the CIA was behind 11/9. It’s a real classic, with shades of the People’s Popular Front of Judea etc etc.”

    Priceless- you could not make it up.

    Though this news might be rather upsetting to those on here who actually believe that the CIA were responsible for 9/11 :D

  9. Amber

    “Jim & Sarah’s review isn’t finished yet”

    I wasn’t aware of that. Will the final version be agreed at your special Conference at the end of October?

  10. Henry.

    Your un-telegenic PMs were before the era of non-stop tele I guess.

    The great Scottish bard Momus sang in 1996, “We elect by desire. We elect only pretty things.”

    Mind, in 1996, the Cabinet included Major, Clarke, Mellor, Gummer and Lilley, so maybe Momus was a bit early with his predictions…

  11. Nick Robinson 24hrs on is still plugging his “kick in the teeth for business” line wrt Miliband’s speech.

    BBC even wheeled out some kind of expert (from the US) who was very animated about the speech alienating the “entire younger generation”, because apparently, people who have qrown up in the internet age all see themselves a business people/ entrepreneurs promoting their “own individual brand”.

    The speech, whatever it was, has generated some hysteria.

  12. Liz H,

    “Uninspiring to you but not to us”

    I was deliberately quoting/paraphrasing the views of some left-leaning posters on here and beyond. Of course you wouldn’t pay any heed to what any Tories say about it, nor should you, but it seems there are those closer to home that feel the same way………

    Maybe they are all ‘panicking’ too………….?

  13. Liz Hancock

    Uninspiring to you but not to us. You will be doing the same when Cameron speak. We will most probably say rubbish and you will say great. A speech is great when you agree with it and not so great when you don’t.

    You are absolutley right; but then when tucked up in bed, do we admit to ourselves, ‘what a disaster,
    I could have done better myself’.

    I think EM has great potential, but he has to work hard, and perhaps emphasise his attractive qualities more. He is a softly spoken, ordinary, plain looking guy, with a face a bit like Rowan Atkinson; what’s wrong with that. I found his Milliband brothers joke amusing; poke fun at yourself and you can’t lose, as duffer Boris will tell you.

  14. @Henry

    “Atlee, Churchill, Wilson, Heath were hardly stunners, but they were PMs.”

    But would they be elected in the current X-Factor world we live in?

    I doubt it, as I think Politics has been dummed down into judging people by how they look, how they come across and not purely based on the qualities/policies they have.

  15. LeftLampton

    Mind, in 1996, the Cabinet included Major, Clarke, Mellor, Gummer and Lilley, so maybe Momus was a bit early with his predictions…

    There were a few ugly ones as well.

  16. Something has sprung to mind with the comments about Tony Blair.

    I recall that the Tories have form in following the advice of three-time election winning past leaders. In 2001, IDS was elected over Ken Clarke with the endorsement of Margaret Thatcher. Perhaps having good judgement on these matters is not an eternal talent.

  17. @Anthony;

    can you please hand out your usual reward for poor reporting of polls to this:

    htt p://!/Sun_Politics/status/119145181265141760

    A single poll, where the result they mark on is less than the margin of error, before the effect even has time to sink in. I think that has to rank pretty highly in the poor reporting stakes.

  18. R Hucke

    Very valid points.

    There was a long “fly-on-the-wall” piece in the Sunday Times last February about Gordon Brown. The journalist, who had shadowed him for 3 months said that she didn’t agree with much of his politics, but she was extremely impressed with the level of analysis and sheer intellectual effort that he put into problems. She contrasted that with the lightweight but nimble approach of his political foes and had the parting line “Maybe in an era obsessed with image over content, we’ll get the Government we deserve in May”.


  19. R Huckle

    I doubt it, as I think Politics has been dummed down into judging people by how they look, how they come across and not purely based on the qualities/policies they have.

    This why I find EM interesting; is he able to project himself on modern media? I believe so far he has failed.

  20. @OLDNAT

    “So if the “core vote” changes daily, shouldn’t you just dispense with the word “core”?

    Of course, you are totally free to use any term in any way that you wish, in any context!”

    I think we both know I was referring to their traditional numbers, i.e pre-May 2011 numbers. Now all bets are off.

  21. @Billy Bob

    Says a lot about UK corporate culture in the when “businesses should behave in a socially responsible manner” is such an explosive idea.

    Apparently it’s all too easy to distinguish between deserving and undeserving poor people, but businesses? Hell no, more money = better than full stop.

  22. Argh, ignore “in the” in that last post.

  23. @ Old Nat
    I wasn’t aware of that. Will the final version be agreed at your special Conference at the end of October?
    I believe a final version for the special conference in Dundee is, indeed, the current plan.

  24. Statgeek

    Yet another Scottish YouGov poll in the field. If any of these were actually published, we might have some idea of where things actually are at the moment!

    In the meantime, I’d be very hesitant of having any idea of party support in Scotland at the moment.

    It’s so frustrating that there is all this turmoil within the main Unionist parties at the moment, yet we have little polling evidence as to whether it has any effect. Was the snapshot we got from MORI et al at the end of August a momentary blip, a hangover from May, or a profound change? Who knows?

  25. Amber


  26. @Henry

    “This why I find EM interesting; is he able to project himself on modern media? I believe so far he has failed.”

    Yes, but early days yet. He needs the time to appoint his own shadow cabinet and to start to define what policies will be put forward at the next GE.

    I think EM is clearly quite bright, but I think he needs help, so he communicates in a clearer way. The speech yesterday appears to have confused some people, so they have had to do further interviews to explain some positions.

    What EM cannot do much about, is the tone of his voice. Comes across as not being authorative. People generally find lower tone voices as being authorative and higher tone voices as being less so. I believe Thatcher had voice coaching lessons to help her with the tone of her voice. Perhap EM can do the same or smoke 20 Woodbine a day for the next 6 months.

  27. @Henry
    “He is a softly spoken, ordinary, plain looking guy, with a face a bit like Rowan Atkinson; what’s wrong with that.”

    I am honestly not being partisan here but I find EM more attractive than DC. I find DC’s looks quite repulsive but though I detest NC I think he is quite good looking. Possible EM is not attractive to men.

  28. @ Old Nat

    “Apologies that my choice of words offended last night. It wasn’t intended to come over that way.”

    No worries. :)

  29. Alex

    The Ukraine and hungary are on the brink as well. In Hungary’s case for the second time, this is not just about the euro, everything is primed for an epic disaster it just needs the wrong spark. The list of countries that have gone down is growing. At the moment it just the smaller countries but everyone’s got problems

    China is starting to land hard

    Japan is having to impose austerity after twenty years of zero interest rates

    The USA has official unemployment at 9.4% but after 52 weeks they drop off the register the old measure has unemployment at 17% most states are making cutbacks and some are on the edge of bankruptcy

    The swiss had to peg their currency before they lost the entirety of their export industry

    And behind the whole of it is the ticking time bomb of the derivatives market worth more than 7 times the world GDP.

    Ten years ago a little problem like Greece would have been laughed off but today everything is on the brink and no one knows just what will happen when it goes off. We think that three French banks and one Belgian bank will collapse we think that Barclays and RBS have written credit default swaps and will have problems we think that a big US bank is over exposed to the French banks and will go downi could go on, but its not just Greece, the Italian banks might go under because of things happening in Hungery. Who holding on to Ukrainian debt and who are they exposed to. What happens when a big US state declares bankruptcy
    What happens if investors pull their money out of hedge funds, will it crash the market

    I think I’m going to bed now!!!

  30. SoCalLiberal


  31. @Colin

    You said “…I’m now quite uncertain what the German’s are voting on tomorrow. Is it expansion of EFSF beyond Euro400bn-or use of EFSF to support existing bailouts to Greece?…”

    The sourced reply is in moderation. I’ve reposted the unsourced version below until it clears

    * Last year the EFSM (European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism) was set up, which was a fast emergency loan of €60 billion from the financial markets using the EU budget as collateral. The loans took the form of bonds, the first of which were issued on 5 January.
    * Then the Original EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) was incorporated on 7 June 2010. It was a little bank of 17 finance ministers getting together[1] to issue loans. The total guarantee was 440,000.00 million euros[2] (€440 billion). The German component of that guarantee was 119,390.07 million euros[2] (€119 billion). The loans took the form of bonds, the first of which were issued on 25 January 2011.
    * Then the Amended EFSF was created. On 21 July 2011[3] the Eurozone component of the European Council decided to amend the EFSF[3][4] to bring the total guarantee up to 779,783.14 million euros[3][4] (€780 billion). The German component of that extended guarantee was 211,045.90 million euros[3][4] (€211 billion)
    * The upcoming German vote is for the €211 billion, the German component of that extended guarantee.

    Regards, Martyn

  32. So.according to a few posters it could be close to the end of the world as we know it, yet I feel fine…

  33. @RIN

    Is it time to build an underground shelter in the garden, stock up with provisions and only come out in 10 years time ?

    What I find amazing about the current situation, is that the world seems to be talking its way into a major depression. Yes the level of debt is extremely high, but countries will not be able to service the debts, unless they have their economies growing ? Are we really saying that the world is not capable of growth ? Surely all they need to do, is restructure the debts of coutries that are vulnerable. I am sure that it would not be too complicated to sort out, if there is enough political willpower amongst all the relevant countries. I am sure that if Gordon was still around, we would have had emergency meetings take place and he would have been giving other world leaders an ear bashing or throwing his mobile phone at them. I wonder how Cameron would react, if other world leaders wanted Gordon to chair a few meetings.

  34. R huckle

    Yes there is so much debt that it has became impossible to grow fast enough to service it, debt has been rising faster than GDP for 30 years now, remember it not just govt debt its all debt.

    No I’m not going to get into this tonight again. I’m off to bed


  35. R Huckle.

    If ever there was a time when we need so gruff Celtic bugger to bully a few heads of state it’s now.

    But of course, when the Grim One raised the possibility of his becoming head of the IMF, DC spiked it on Today by saying, “Well, err…I don’t think we’d want a Deficit Denier in that post.” (And I SWEAR I heard those capital Ds.)

    Petty politics over saving the world eh? But that’s the zeitgeist. Future historians will have a ball.

  36. @OLDNAT

    Not sure about Mori.

    The last YG poll (scotland) was:

    Con 20
    Lab 46
    Lib 3
    SNP 27

    while the one before that:

    Con 22
    Lab 31
    Lib 10
    SNP 30

    All over the place. My average with SD added come in at (seat change):

    Con 19.5 (+2)
    Lab 41.6 (+2)
    Lib 6.1 (-6)
    SNP 28.3 (+2)

    No change in seating from previous polling. Con VI is up around 0.5 and Lab down 0.4; nothing much else to see here.

  37. @RiN

    “Yes there is so much debt that it has became impossible to grow fast enough to service it, debt has been rising faster than GDP for 30 years now, remember it not just govt debt its all debt.”

    It makes one wonder if the entire world would benefit if all debts of all kinds (no exceptions) were cut by half (the other half written off as bad debt).

    I imagine the markets, the prospects and the spending confidence would soar.

  38. Statgeek

    Relying on YG crossbreaks isn’t wise. MORI does quarterly Scottish polling (1000 sample size)

    The Westminster VI at the end of Aug 2011 was

    SNP 42% : Lab 35% : Con 13% : LD 6% : Green 3%.

    At the end of November, we’ll get their next snapshot.

  39. @ Old Nat

    “Odd decision yesterday by the UK Government to devolve Air Passenger Duty to the Northern Ireland Assembly, while refusing to do so for Scotland (though their own Calman Commission recommended that).”

    Maybe they want to devolve this power as part of a larger bill that addresses other issues to be devolved.

    @ Top Hat

    “I moved from right to left. My dad is a staunch Tory and my mother is the Liberal half of the Lib Dems, so I was raised in a fairly rightwing environ, and used to take some of the basic doctrine for granted.”

    I always felt lucky that my parents were never right wingers although both of them were once registered Republicans.

  40. Billy Bob,

    Strictly speaking, it was a modal claim of possibility. Hence “maybe”.

  41. Statgeek,

    I doubt that 42% is the core SLAB vote, since they’re well below that right now, and they were below that in 1983, 1992, and probably 2005. I would be surprised if they reach 42% in 2015.

    (I know you were joking, but you’d think that that was a possibility from 1997-2001!)

  42. @Billy Bob

    Perhaps the emphasis that should be made from all political parties and politicans is to divide the conflict not between class, race or culture but on the deserving and undeserving, not only saying to people that their are the deserving/undeserving poor but also the deserving/undeserving rich.

    Like I have said on here, I am not anti-capitalism or against people being wealthy but I am agaisnt the system when I feel they do not morally deserve or can morally justfiy their actions (although the rich should always ask themselves is it really morally right and justfied to earn vast amounts of money, some even reaching the billions while their is so much poverty both in the west but more importantly the rich). Also, capitalism should commit themselves more on ethics (i.e. climate change, reducing gap between rich and poor and poverty in the western and third world), worker-owner coopration and workplace democracy.

    That is my view of how the public think about morality. It’s not about class, wealth or occupiation anymore that people concern themselves about on economics of individuals but the divide between those who a deserving (the poor who deserve to have assistance and help from the state, the rich who deserve to be rich because of their record on helping communities, charity work and building good relations with workers) and those who are undeserving (the poor who do not look for work and do just “lay about” who don’t deserve getting assistance and help from the state, the rich who do not deserve to be rich because of their reckless business actions centred just on profits and helping soak loads of money while giving nothing back to society).

  43. @ Billy Bob

    “From what I can make out Barak Obama (6? 1?) even when hunched over is clearly taller than Cameron (6? or 6? 1/2?).

    Clegg claims he is 6? (some say 5? 11.5?) and a bit taller than Huhne and Gordon Brown (5? 11?).

    Ed Miliband (5? 11.5?) and David Miliband (5? 11?, with less big hair) were both clearly taller than the other leadership candidates. Cameron slightly taller than David Davis also.

    On the day though 1/2? there or thereabouts can easily be made up by variable vertebral interstices, camera angles etc.

    Martyn claimed the other day that Cameron is taking steps to counter the bald spot, and as from Jan 21st he did start colouring his hair, presumably with an eye on 2015. There was a time during the the presidential campaign that Obama “went black”, but later reverted to natural greying, presumably in order to not look too inexpirienced against John McCain.”

    Interesting. Dubya was 5’9, which is about average. Obama is 6’1 in shoes, which means he’s probably a little shorter barefoot. Some of it is perception. I thought Obama and Cameron were about the same height though I would take your word for it that Cameron is shorter. Also, I’ve never noticed a baldspot on Cameron. Clegg seems tall but not quite as tall as Cameron.

    How tall do you think Jim Murphy is? He seems pretty tall but usually he’s standing next to short people. There’s a picture of him with Gordon Brown where he looks to be about Brown’s height.

    I’ve never based my vote on a politician’s height. I’ve voted routinely for some great politicians who are fairly short (my Congressman is barely 5’3, my Mayor is about 5’6). I think height is a stupid criteria with which to base a vote or make a hiring decision. I think some of the height expectations of politicians are unfair to female politicians. The average woman is about 5 inches shorter than the average man. So it’s very unlikely (outside of the Netherlands or Dinaric Alps or parts of the Congo) that a female politician is going to be as tall as the politicians you’ve mentioned. And a woman politician who is 6 feet tall (rather than being rewarded for her height) is likely going to appear threatening and will be treated unfairly.

  44. SoCalliberal

    No. The Scotland Bill (which is a partial implementation of the Calman Commission) is going through the Lords at the moment, and doesn’t include that.

    Hence why I said it was an odd decision by the UK Government.

  45. R Huckle,

    “Is it possible for someone with a strong regional accent to become PM ?

    I would suggest that only someone who is attractive looking, smart and well spoken with a middle England accent could become a PM.”

    Simply sticking to the post war period:

    (1) Unattractive-looking PMs: All of them except Eden and Blair.

    (2) Smart: Smartly dressed or intelligent?

    (3) Well-spoken: Brown, Major, Thatcher, Heath and Douglas-Home all got some nasty mockery for how they spoke and for their verbal mistakes generally.

    (4) Regional accents: Wilson, Heath, Callaghan, Major and Brown all spoke with regional accents (Yorkshire, Kent, Portsmouth, Brixton and east coast-Scottish respectively) which is a majority of prime ministers since 1964.

    So the answer to your second question is “Yes”.

    As for your first question, it all depends on how you define “strong”. Gordon Brown’s accent isn’t noticeable if you’ve lived most of your life in Scotland, but I know a lot of English people who can’t get over it.

  46. Andy C,

    In my more Schumpterian moments, I have a feeling that (if we assume, dubiously) just as the Puritan ethical code created capitalism and therefore modern civilization, it will destroy it. This worries me somewhat, since I agree with Hayek that it is not possible to feed the present population of the world if we organise our economies on the basis of “moral desserts” and “rewarding hard work”.

    While I morally approve of hard work, I still want the dedicated-but-hopelessly-untalented doctor who kills me with a badly botched operation to be struck off, while the lazy-but-brilliant doctor who saves my life should continue to be employed and receive a fat salary. I am morally Puritanical in many ways, but I’m pragmatic when it comes to things like pay: it’s results that matter.

    My impression of Ed Miliband’s speech was that, just like Ed Balls, he raises very important questions; I just disagree with their answers.

  47. @Socialliberal

    My family is a real mixture. It starts with my Granddad on my dad’s side who was a right-wing Tory which was rather controversial at the time because he came from a working-class background at a time it was seen as almost tradition for the working-class vote Labour. Hints why my dad called him a working-class Tory. My grandmother was a Liberal as she was disillusioned from both Labour and Tory but was a staunch “anti-socialist” at the time Labour was seen as a socialist party.

    His three children all ended up spiltting from different ideological directions which was ironic considering that they learnt their morality and values from my granddad. My dad ended up being a staunch socialist/communist in his early youth and at one time tried to influence the Labour Party to be more left-wing. Has time has gone by he’s shifted to the right but still calls himself a socialist and left-wing. My aunt ended up being a Liberal; the kind that is socially liberal very controversial in my granddad’s eye because he was a social conservative i.e. anti-abortion, pro-family/marriage, anti-multiculturalism etc. My aunt is also economically to the centre-left often thinking the rich should pay more tax while rejecting my dad’s socialist views. Ironically my aunt married into a Conservative whose moderate on social issues but economically right-wing but has respect for Tony Blair. My uncle ended up being a Tory but a more moderate one on social issues but aggressively free-market on the economy.

    My mum’s side is rather consistent. Both her parents were brought up Labour voters but would flirt Liberal when it look likes Labour could not deliver on keeping the economy at float or were seen as too radical while still calling themselves Labour “at heart”. My mum voted Labour until the late 70’s when she thought Labour was “penalising her in securing a better job position” because she was offered a promotion but would have paid I believe 70% tax which she thought was just regressive and undervaluing hard work. So she voted Tory in the 79′ election but felt she made a mistake because she thought she was too aggressive on the free-market etc. so she voted Liberal and did not convince herself to vote Labour until 97′ when Labour had ditched it’s socialist label. My aunt, however, is a proud Daily Mail Tory.

    So I have been use to observing and absorbing different political opinions and ideologies which makes up for interesting dinner conversations (I say not, more like arguments) but still I felt like I’ve had a good childhood when talking political issues being able to see many different opinions.

  48. @ Billy Bob

    I do admit to being a slight hypocrite when it comes to a politician’s weight. As a general matter, I would be unlikely to base a vote based upon a candidate’s weight. There have been some great politicians who were fairly chubby (like Bill Clinton used to be) and having struggled with my own weight all my life, I would never vote against a politician simply because they were overweight. There are a whole lot of factors that also play a role in decreasing or increasing one’s weight (gender, age, genetics, ethnicities, socio-economic background, diseases, conditions). Two people could eat the exact same diet and could have very different results. Plus when you live in the world’s fatest nation, it’s only expected that some of the politicians will be overweight.

    However, when I look at Chris Christie, I am kinda disgusted. You know, the man isn’t just a few pounds overweight or even fat. He’s morbidly obese. That’s a major health risk and I feel like it demonstrates a lack of care about how he treats his body and how he treats himself. If he were president (as some people want), forget the bad example he’d set, I’d worry about his health condition in the world’s toughest and most stressful job.

    Additionally morbid obesity is often caused by other conditions that negatively affect health. I mean, you can get fat and/or put on some pounds through poor diet. Chowing down on fast food can do that. But that alone is not going to make one into a morbidly obese person. It takes a lot more and it’s not a good indicator. I’m not sure I want someone like that near the button.

    Of course, I wouldn’t vote for Chris Christie anyway. Still, does make me feel like a little bit of a hypocrite.


    I can’t say weight is a massive (ha ha!) factor for me, but I can see how some would use the well fed shape as a way to suggest they live well, but their voters do not.

    Do a google for John Prescott and Peter Tapsell and see what you think of the fuller figured UK politician. Sometimes the personality makes your mind up, and sometimes peoples’ opinions are settled based on their favoured party.

    Also see:

    Cyril Smith (definitely a candidate for biggest loser).

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