Tonight’s YouGov/Sun poll has topine figures of CON 37%, LAB 41%, LDEM 9%. The four point lead is well within the margin of error of the six point Labour lead YouGov have been showing of late, so it is far too early to suggest any sort of conference boost for the Tories. If there is any conference effect, we would expect it to show up after Cameron’s speech, so watch for the figures tomorrow night and in the Sunday Times.


532 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 37, LAB 41, LDEM 9”

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  1. @Rob Sheffield

    I think Chuka Umunna took over from Gordon Banks at BIS in May.

    Some have questioned (probably out of malice) whether PPS to the leader of the opposition was not the more prestigious role… behind the scenes maybe, but not in terms of gaining shadow ministerial expirience.

    At that point Michael Dugher took over as PPS, now it is John Denham… maybe that will work better for Ed.

  2. Nick Poole

    @”But at least we’ve seen the back of Murdoch, at least for the time being”

    I’m glad you could find some comfort from the last 14 years :-)

  3. I’ve made this point before but would the Tories have bought in a minimum wage? They campaigned against it, voted against it and you still get the occasional right wing Tory MP trying to water it down.

  4. John Murphy

    I hate to rain on anyone’s parade…. but it may be that things in China are, like their record on Human Rights, not as they should be, not all they appear to be and not as we would like them to be…..

    Perhaps the UK, and even more so the US, should have thought of that before filling Chinese coffers with dollars and sterling.

    If UK feel so strongly about China, then perhaps UK should cease any trade; this would improve our balance of payments at a stroke.

    The financial weakness of Europe and US, who have spent what they have not earned for many years, Germany excepted but Germany cannot carry the Eurozone let alone the whole western world, makes it very difficult for us to preach to the big creditor countries, made rich by their own endeavours and our own greed and laziness.

  5. Amusing…just noticed that Guardian leader writer Julian Glover is to replace Ameet Gill as DC’s speech writer.

    (AG moves to position as Conservatives’ head of strategic communications.)

  6. Alec

    I can understand you being p****d off with that.

  7. Nick Poole

    I would argue that Labour (despite being neo lib Tories as somebody already said) …

    I could see nothing Tory or neo Tory in the previous Govt. The high tax, big spend, huge national debt is just not Tory

    As far as neo Lib, they were one of the least liberal of all govts to hold power in the uk.

    Also it is wrong to claim success in education when our international standing in this field as tumbled so far and so fast.

    I

  8. Berious

    I think it would be crazy for this gov to attempt to remove the NMW.

    So, yes, they should do it….

  9. FITCH downgrade Spain to AA- outlook negative
    ” ” Italy to A+ ” ” ” ”

    Its a laugh a second is it not.

  10. @ Henry

    The debt under the last government before the financial crash was one of the lowest in the G8. Yes they were running a slight deficit, about 2.5% per year, during good economic times (not a good idea), but both Lid Dem and Tory MP’s were making demands for extra NHS and school spending in their constituences. The Tories only changed their stance in 2008 after they realised how much debt would be built up in the downturn following the crash. At the time the government in common with many others thought that they did not have much choice but bail out their banks and take measures to support their economies.

    In regard to Education I think you have a point, but in other countries they spend more per pupil in relation to GDP and have a more consistent approach to teaching methods. I think in Singapore for example that still use the old O’Level exams, which are more difficult than GCSE’s. If the kids are stretched more and have more discipline installed by parents to make them study hard, then they will get better results. People from certain ethnic backgrounds are better than others in some subjects. For example in Australian schools, kids from a chinese background often excel at maths and are found in the top sets, with the Australian kids struggling to compete with them.

  11. Gary Gibbon is reporting that the reason credit easing plans are not ready is because of what happened last autumn when Gus O’Donnell urged the government to prepare a “Plan B”:

    “The Treasury permanent secretary waded in furious at the cabinet secretary’s memo, the chancellor dragged in the prime minister to get his tanks off his lawn and the whole idea was put back in its box.”

  12. @chouenlai

    “FITCH downgrade Spain to AA- outlook negative
    ” ” Italy to A+ ” ” ” ”

    Its a laugh a second is it not.”

    OK here is an idea. All governments to ban ratings agencies and replace them with ones that only provide good news.

  13. @henry

    Also it is wrong to claim success in education when our international standing in this field as tumbled so far and so fast.

    I have had this argument in days gone by to the stage of getting banned. You must understand Henry, the Billions which have thrown at education is all totally worthwhile. Every year the GCSE results get better, every year the A level results get better and thee & me know the exams get easier and easier. This very clever and does wonders for our future, whilst protecting the largely left wing teaching “profession” from censure.

    Of course attacking Labour education policies and spending on a site like this attracts the educationalists
    defence of the largesse which they have grown to expect, without any real benefit other than fake figures.

  14. I’m beginning to think the whole Tyrie episode was indeed a “nudge” exercise to bounce Osborne into making an announcement at conference.

  15. GRAHAM, et contra Blairites,

    Day of tennis and tutoring over.
    In danger of partisan debate possibly, but I think Blair’s administrations did a lot of good, and things that the Conservatives would not have done. In some sort of order>
    Minimum Wage.
    Peace in Northern Ireland.
    Schools and NHS investments.
    Kosovo
    Tax Credits for workers
    Sure Start.
    Sierre Leone
    Equality Legislation for gay rights
    Human Rights Act.
    Hereditary principle for the Lords removed
    Child Poverty tackled-partly
    OAP minimum guarantee.

    I think that the Conservatives may not have done such things.

    And Saddam has gone as well, which is good, I think.

    A note on JULIAN GLOVER: I noticed his surprising articles, for the Guardian, when the coalition started.

    On ED Miliband.
    Never going to be PM, but the new shadow cabinet looks marginally better..

  16. R Huckle
    In regard to Education I think you have a point, but in other countries they spend more per pupil in relation to GDP and have a more consistent approach to teaching methods. I think in Singapore for example that still use the old O’Level exams, which are more difficult than GCSE’s. If the kids are stretched more and have more discipline installed by parents to make them study hard, then they will get better results. People from certain ethnic backgrounds are better than others in some subjects. For example in Australian schools, kids from a chinese background often excel at maths and are found in the top sets, with the Australian kids struggling to compete with them.

    I agree with much of the above. In particular ethnic culture. In UK why do kids with certain ethnic backgrounds do so much better than others, and why do the indigenous white boys, who one would have thought have so many advantages do so badly. It is not that the education is particularly bad, although I feel like challenging those who claim great things, when to some degree I think we have failed.

  17. One member of the shadow cabinet that I think often gets overlooked is Sadiq Khan.

    He was a leading human rights lawyer and the chair of Liberty for 3 years.
    While this doesn’t cause any trouble for Ken Clarke, who he shadows, it may cause trouble for Labour later on.

    If Labour tackles the Tories (as they are), by attacking them for not being tough enough on crime – and then push for ‘tough on crime’ policies (i.e Jack Straw policies), then it may cause friction with Khan.
    Much like the friction between Clarke and May.

  18. R HUCKLE

    “OK here is an idea. All governments to ban ratings agencies and replace them with ones that only provide good news.”

    Or: All governments to ban ratings agencies and replace them with ones that only provide ACCURATE news.

    The performance of ratings agencies has been neither useful or accurate. It has been highly damaging, both in the false good ratings they have provided and the false bad ratings they have provided.

  19. Didn’t the US government try to make rating agencies liable for their ratings which lead to a huge s***storm where the agencies argued they’d be out of business if they had to be accurate? Basically arguing that they’re as good as useless but make scads of money so leave us alone OK.

  20. Laura Kuenssberg of ITV News just tweeted this –
    “Not sure Chris Huhne meant to tweet this… ‘@ChrisHuhne From someone else fine but I do not want my fingerprints on the story C'”
    Osborne has been hinting lately that the government is going to pull back from it’s ‘Greenest government ever’ promise to promote growth/cut back on red-tape.
    Could be linked.

    (Or it could be relating to any announcement that’s going to be made soon)

  21. Huhne could get his wife to make the announcement /rimshot

  22. @chrislane1945

    I was anti-war (Iraq) and I appeciate that you might not have been, however, the Tories would absolutely have done the same, and very probably have been less cautious in their approach.

    The FO were definitely trying to moderate and backpedal somewhat, at a time when the Pentagon were planing for Baghdad as just the first stop on the road to Damascus, Tehran, etc, etc (talk of tactical nuclear weapons and so on). Meanwhile Tory politicians were using back channels with neoCon allies to pressurise Blair to commit earlier and more wholeheartedly to the Cheney doctrine.

    You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of politicians, civil servants, members of the armed services and security apparatus who were prepared to put their careers on the line to oppose this. In the final analysis the UK does not have an independent stategic defence or intelligence gathering capability, and imo no PM could have remained in post by going against that.

  23. @Billy Bob – “I’m beginning to think the whole Tyrie episode was indeed a “nudge” exercise to bounce Osborne into making an announcement at conference.”

    I think that’s what it was. Tyrie did a classic attack and retreat, well calculated and to maximum effect. He knoew exactly what he was doing and it wasn’t pressure from No 10 that made him state his support afterwards – he asn’t ever putting himself in opposition to Osborne but just wanted to get a point across.

    What it does show is that Tyrie doesn’t have any faith in Osborne’s abilities as Chancellor. he isn’t alone in that.

    @Tingedfringe – I met Huhne at an event the the other day. In the Q&A session I felt the urge to ask what he thought of the new 80mph speed limit proposal and what sanctions he would want to see for those breaking it, but I thought I had better stick to the issues in hand.

  24. @Henry:

    My point wasn’t meant to be a moral one…

    I was merely observing that the economic position of China may not be as we are told or imagine it is…something all those empty offices in empty cities are telling any one who cares to look….and certainly they are not in the uncomplicated financial position you appeared to credit them with in your original comment….

    In passing I thought the whole principle of banks and capitalism was to enable you spend what you have not earned…otherwise like the great cathedrals of Europe it would take many generations to see a project to completion….

    And, also in passing, since the Wars of the Spanish Succession….I can think of no example of any government anywhere or any time finding the remotest difficulty in fighting a war to destroy things on the basis of borrowing money they did not have in the first place…and did that ever stop a nation fighting a war….No, I think the market is happy to sell guns without butter on demand and in any quantity.

    I do not worship the market and I believe the market must work for man and not vice versa…and I also believe that not every apple you buy in a market is sold at a fair price. If I must worship the gods of geld and gold I’ll chose Baal rather than the Governor of the BOE and Mr Osbourne.

    And if I was to choose a random object for veneration and reverence a mechanism of exchange is the least likely to hold me spellbound….No, in the words of William Jennings Bryan I will not be crucified on this cross of gold etc etc….

  25. R huckle

    ” Perhaps someone from Goldman Sachs can chair a meeting of all the heads of G20, plus all the CEO’s of worlds main banks, IMF, rating agencies etc to sort this mess out. I just don’t think the politicians can deal with this alone and need to get buy in from the leading finance companies and agencies.”

    Most of these people are from Goldman Sachs, they get everywhere. They don’t call Goldman Sachs “the squid” for nothing.

  26. “I was anti-war (Iraq) and I appeciate that you might not have been, however, the Tories would absolutely have done the same”
    Given that only 3 Tories voted against the declaration of war, I think it’s pretty clear what they would have done.
    Had the Tories voted against, it would have been 266 for vs 295 against.

    Shame that they couldn’t have been more partisan at that point and voted against. ;)

  27. John Murphy
    In passing I thought the whole principle of banks and capitalism was to enable you spend what you have not earned…otherwise like the great cathedrals of Europe it would take many generations to see a project to completion.

    I do not disagree with the above or much of your post.

    However, the principle of borrowing based on the fact I can afford to borrow, but do not have the ready cash, and I am borrowing for an asset that will keep and enhance its value, like a home or cathedral, has in my opinion been badly abused.

  28. henry

    Yes it has been badly abused. But by whom? I would argue by the traders and banks who knowingly lent against little security and then made sure everybody else was snarled up in the security.

  29. statgeek @ JOHN B DICK

    “That outcome is possible next time if Murdo Fraser’s new party draws some voters from SNP which it might as the focus on the referendum increases, and formerly loyalist left-Labour defectors finally give up on NewLabour and vote Green.”

    “The way the SNP are promoting renewables and recycling, I have a feeling the Greens will struggle to impact on the SNP’s share. SNP are also very anti-nuclear weapons and pretty anti-nuclear energy (publiclty at least). ”

    The SNP probably have already attracted all the dark greens for Westminster as the Greens only stand on the list. I’m not sure what they will do next time.

    Their not primarily environmental polices are old fashioned left, and further left than SNP, so disaffected Labour voters could vote for them or the Socialists (both of which are pro-independence) rather than vote for the old opponent that Labour has vilified for years.

    Some may find that easier than going over to the erstwhile enemy.

    I can see the Greens gaining from Labour, and the Murdo SCONS from SNP. It won’t make much difference on FPTP, for the SP but it might on the list. It could weaken Labour a little, and a little might be all that is needed to give the SNP the FPTP bonus and maybe Ed M a Faustian bargain for the keys to No 10.

  30. Chouenlai

    ‘Of course attacking Labour education policies and spending on a site like this attracts the educationalists
    defence …’

    Thank you for your post; to be fair to our fellow posters I have received only one response (IMO balanced), which I generally agreed with from R Huckle.

  31. Shame that they couldn’t have been more partisan at that point and voted against.
    ———————————————————————
    Two words: Alistair Campbell ;)
    Thats all I am saying.

  32. I agree with John/Henry
    Debt is the foundation of capitalism (the whole structure is based on debt – rent is debt, employment is debt, shares are debt, etc) and it works as long as those debts are met.
    It’s the abuse of the systems of debt (both government and non-government entities are guilty) that causes problems.

    If I were Ed Miliband, I would call it ‘Good Debt’ and ‘Bad Debt’. ;)

  33. Nick P

    ‘Yes it has been badly abused. But by whom? I would argue by the traders and banks who knowingly lent against little security and then made sure everybody else was snarled up in the security’.

    I agree but would also add as I think we have all said before that for years (not only Labour years) and not only in this country Govt has replaced strict rules and good regulation with poor regulation. Its politically great riding high on an enormous bubble but painful when it bursts.

  34. Henry

    I was having a discussion with my son about thing from China. We went round the house trying to find things not made in China, not easy. By all means ban imports from China but don’t expect it to be popular which folk can’t get hold of their consumer disposables

  35. For a while all my Marvel Omnibuses were printed in China. Some recent ones haven’t been.

    Not sure if that’s important or not.

  36. Chris Huhne’s tweet was texted to twitter.
    Whose name begins with T? Theresa May?
    Oh, the speculation. ;)

  37. John B Dick/Statgeek

    I don’t think it’s possible to have any idea as to how Scots will vote in 2015!

    We’ll either have just had a referendum (unlikely, I think – but Alex hasnae telt me!) or we will be in the throes of the campaign for it (whether the question(s) have been published or not).

    Whichever situation we are in, it won’t be the current one.

  38. HENRY,
    I agree that the Tories would have gone to war with Saddam, they were urging it before, under Michael Howard.

    The domestic social reforms, I think, would not have happened under the Tories.

    And if they had not dumped him, and Blair had not declared his desire not to serve a full term, he would have won again, I think.

    But Labour now can boo him, without a rebuke from the leader who was raised up by him.

    THE PRINCE should not expect gratitude, say Nicolo-
    ( I have just learned that the phrase OLD NICK comes from Machiavelli haters.)

  39. Intresting to see Ed Milliband scrap Shadow Cabinet elections. Beat that Tony Blair! However it is a bit worrying to see him trying to cut ties withte Unions. I thought Labour is a party of the Unions. If he is not carefull he might be the new Ramsey Macdonald.

  40. I’m disturbed by john b dick’s advise to tophat. That he should move to Scotland before the ref so he can be an automatic citizen. Will it not be possible to move to Scotland after the referendum. Will there be strict immigration rules? And even if there are strict immigration rules they surely won’t apply to englishmen?

  41. Kyle,
    I think the spat with the unions is all for show.
    If the unions were really that unhappy with Ed, they could set up a New-New Labour party and pull the funding for Labour.
    That’d leave Labour virtually bankrupt.

    Union action is currently not hugely popular with the public (IIRC, polls show greater support for strikes in theory, rather than specific strikes), so backing the unions now would probably not help – and would give the Tories an easy narrative.
    Notice that he hasn’t ruled out support for strikes – just while negotiations are ongoing (it’s one of his favourite phrases).

    While some of us, on the left, would prefer a Labour leader that actually backs labour-power, it’s obvious why he doesn’t.

  42. @ Rob Sheffield

    Good call on Chukah :-)

    I thought maybe Yvette would move there, with Chukah as 2nd in command; I didn’t think Ed would have the bottle to put CU straight into that role. I’m impressed – with Ed, CU & your forecasting ability!
    8-)

  43. Chris

    Again with the Blair hero worship!!

    Michael foot could have beaten the Tories in 97, winning that one was no achievement.

    2001 I will give him but it has two be said that he didn’t have much opposition

    Gordon brown won the 2005 election, and only just at that, with the lowest share of the vote for a winning party since the war. Blair was deliberately hidden from view, when he was allowed out, he had to be handcuffed to brown. The campaign was fought on the understanding that Blair would step down and brown would take over “vote Blair get brown”

    There is no way Blair could have won 2010 he was Mr sleaze personified. And you will recall that expenses were a major issue. It couldn’t be tagged on honest brown but Blair has the feel of a conman(I thought this when I voted for him in 97) and the charge of being far too relaxed about such things would have stuck to him. Also after so long in no 10 most folk would have been really fed up with him.

    Maggie won 3 elections on her own. One election she didn’t have much of an opposition but the other two were all her, she certainly did not have to hide behind her chancellor, it was more like her entire party was hiding behind her.

    Of course if tony Blair had been a Tory they would have dumped him before the 2005 election.

  44. R. HUCKLE and Chou

    The IGCSE and O Level are much more rigorous than GCSE.
    The IB is much more rigorous than A Level.

    In History at least.

    But, as Mrs Thatcher had to remind us, money is needed to pay for top class goods.

    Behaviour units outside of schools for thuggish behaviour in classrooms and corridors were very costly, so they were closed down in the 1980’s.

    Our Headmistress receives about £5K per pupil per year.
    The Headmaster of our daughters’ school, a catholic public school, receives £22K a year per pupil. Not the most expensive.

    This ‘buys’ higher paid staff, small class sizes, more lessons per subject, better libraries with books, a swimming pool, loads of sports pitches, specialised sport coaches, oxbridge coaches. Etc.

    Most of the Coalition Cabinet had the same sort of provision.

    So the majority of the Grade A’s in the ‘Facilitating Subjects’ for University entrance (Russell Group criteria) are from the schools which educate the ‘top’ 7% of the income bracket young people.

    Traditional educationalists from the left wanted these standards for the working classes. Grammar Schools did their best for ‘our people’ as Ernest Bevin called them.

    Tony Crosland, a Westminster Schoolboy, started their closure with circular 10/65,(you will know his notorious boast about closing them) .

    Most grammar schools were closed down in the 1970-1974 Administration, when a new type of woman politiican was at the DES.

    The Lib Dems policy on church schools is to close them down… Nick sends his son to a fine church school in London

  45. @tingedfringe
    “If the unions were really that unhappy with Ed, they could set up a New-New Labour party and pull the funding for Labour.”

    They could but under FPTP that’d just be handing power for the foreseeable to the Conservatives. Lots of Tories are furious with Cameron for not being right wing enough but they’re not talking about splitting the party because they know that’d just mean Labour has a free ride.

  46. RiN

    “they surely won’t apply to englishmen?” :-)

  47. CHRISLANE1945
    “Our Headmistress” …..”The Headmaster”

    Each country to its own terminology, but ever since I can remember (and I started teaching in 1968), the gender neutral term “Head Teacher” has been in use in Scotland.

  48. tingedfringe

    Thanks for that. I can’t imagine the Unions liking him using them as a prop. It is a big weakness for him isnt it. Remember in June when he did that robitic interview. The Union leaders might be a lot of things but they are not flash.

  49. RinN

    I was having a discussion with my son about thing from China. We went round the house trying to find things not made in China, not easy. By all means ban imports from China but don’t expect it to be popular which folk can’t get hold of their consumer disposables.

    I think you came in at the end of a load of posts

    My argument China is best placed to guarantee the Western Banks, etc, etc with almost limited credit

    Response related to concern on China’s Human Rights

    My response was it was a bit late talking about principles having built up huge debts with China, that is UK, US and Europe.

    and if we felt so strongly then we should stop importing from China;

    My view lets trade with China but on an even playing field and balancing the trade.

  50. RICHARD IN NORWAY.

    Michael Foot would not have won in 1997. Nor would Benn in his prime, in his later phase as Tony Benn, immaturing with age, unlike good win, said Harold of Mr Benn.

    John Smith would not have won in 1997 with a decent majority.

    Blair would have beaten Brown in a party vote in 1994, which is why Brown did not challenge him.

    The polls said Blair would have won in 2010. Even now the polls have a pro Blair majority as being a good PM

    I think he should have sacked his chancellor in 2001.

    Blair hero- worshipping? I hope not, but now that Labour has ‘got their party back Neil’ they will go back to being three times losers.

    1880 was the last time a one term tory government was replaced by a full term non-tory government. Ed is no Gladstone, i am afraid!

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