Last night’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures CON 35%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9% (full tabs are here). Seven points is the biggest Labour lead since September. I’ll add my usual caveats about not over-interpreting small movements in polls – this could be a knock in government support from the infighting over Europe, or could just be normal margin of error.


243 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 35, LAB 42, LDEM 9”

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  1. @SOCAL
    Speaking of California to Old Nat, please except my sincere condolence’s regarding the death of your 13 boys
    in Afghanistan today. My son serves with the British Airborne, as did I in the dim distant past. It has been an honour for both of us to have served with the American fighting man during our careers.

  2. The Sheep,

    Well, Keynes was a liberal…

  3. Pete B (Sorry missed your comment before)

    There’s a study here

    http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/4108

    from the Institute of Fiscal Studies that shows that in 2008 the top 1% of taxpayers earned £99,000 or more and paid 8.6% of total income Tax Revenue. How much do you think they should pay?

    Loads more. :D

    If you look at the IFS report the figures are actually from the tax year 2005-6 (the report was published in January 2008 – so is pre-financial crisis). It also shows that the top 0.1% paid an average income tax rate of 35.2%, the remainder of the 1% paid a rate of 31.8%. This compares with an average of 17.8%. It excludes NI, but of course that hits those outside the top 10% hardest as a percentage and the top 1% the lightest.

    There’s a lot of info about how the top earners are made up. Just under 80% of those working worked in ‘Financial intermediation’ or ‘Real estate, renting and other [presumably related] business activities’;under 6% in manufacturing. So a mass exodus might not deprive us of our entrepreneurs – but think of the estate agents we’d lose.

    The report also makes the point how, while general inequality did not increase under Blair in the same way that it did in the Thatcher years, the top 10% got much better off and the bottom 10% worse off.

    So yeah. Loads more.

  4. Roland

    Just a hint – if you wish to prove you are not a grumpy old man, it’s probably wise not to go on quite so much about it. And so grumpily.

  5. BILL PATRICK.

    I disagree with you about Keynes. He was a Liberal, but not a liberal.
    He also believed the State should spend no more than 25% of GDP, though I admit he always had two or three contrasting opinions on any economic issue.

    ROGER MEXICO and Pete B.

    I also think the top 1% should pay lots, lots more tax.
    For starters, they should lose almost all their 50% income rises which they have awarded themselves.

    They ought to be compelled to donate their next 6 months of surplus dinner party foods to their local Food Banks- run, normally, by the local churches, so that good, hardworking families can eat well.

    State funding for Farmer-Landlords should be stopped forth with, and let the ‘free market’ run there.

    And we should all re-read ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist’ by Robert Tressell, a tract for our times as well.

    SOCIAL.
    I also express my condolences also.

    CHOU.
    It is spelt hypocrisy, from the greek for actor. I agree that ‘liberal’ Labour political correctness has been damaging, but I hope you will consider that deflating the economy at time of recession is repeating the error of 1931, against which JM Keynes argued.

  6. @ROGER MEXICO
    You stick to your “conversations” and I will stick to mine.

    @CHRIS LANE 1945
    Thank you Chris, do you know I thought so, but the spell checker pans hypocrisy also. Mind you it does tell me that hipocracy is wrong.

    No, I do not believe borrowing another 100 billion would be the right thing to do. I approve of Osborn entirely.

  7. It/s not too complicated Tony Dean.

    Look at votes cast in LD seats at the GE. Subtract a third from LD and add these to Labour (subtract a further tenth and add to Con also if neccessary).

    Take Croydon C & St Helier or Derby W (using AW’s notional list of new constituencies in this instance). Currently Con(1st)/LD (2nd)/Lab (3rd). They could go Lab/Con/LD.

    I have three LD seats where Lab go from 3rd to 1st.

    In the last week of the 2010 GE campaign Jack Sraw (amongst others) encouraged Labour supporters to tactically vote LD where that would keep Tories out. If that advice had been reciprocated by any LD politician I would have no hesitation or fear of embarrassment
    in sharing the specific information with you. ;)

    The historical reference was to Hastings and Rye, a Con/Lib/Lab seat won by Michael Foster in 1997. There had been an opinion poll in a local paper, the Observer (otherwise known as the “Obscurer” to readers of Robert Tressel).

  8. Council by-elections:

    Cornwall County – Bude North and Stratton: Lib Dem 958, C 395, Lab 120, Ind 93. (June 2009 – Lib Dem 1557, C 595). Lib Dem hold. Swing 4.4% Lib Dem to C.

    Lancashire County – Wyreside: C 2178, Lab 877, Ukip 361, Green 339. (June 2009 – C 3582, Green 1147, Lab 710). C hold. Swing 9.1% C to Lab.

    Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough – Newchapel: Lab 248, C 160, Ukip 118, Lib Dem 17. (May 2011 – Lab 304, C 254, Ind 168, Ukip 143, Lib Dem 60). Lab gain from C. Swing 5.4% C to Lab.

    North Yorkshire County – Thornton Dale and The Wolds: C 1122, Lib Dem 574. (June 2009 – C 1665, Lib Dem 804, Lab 239). C hold. Swing 0.3% Lib Dem to C.

    North Lanarkshire Council – Coatbridge North and Glenboig: Lab 1527, SNP 1139, C 174, Lib Dem 78. (May 2007 – Four seats SNP 1983, Lab 1982, 828, C 714, Ind 604, Lab 416, Scottish Socialist Party 219. Elected: Lab 2, SNP 1, Ind 1. June 4 2009 by-election: Lab 1529, SNP 1254, Ind 557, C 361, No description 217, Green 115, SSP 81). Lab hold. Swing 2.5% Lab to SNP.

    Walsall Borough – Bloxwich East: Lab 922, C 834, Ukip 98, English Democrats 49, Green 16. (May 2011 – Lab 1205, C 1191, Ukip 229, Democratic Labour Party 107, Lib Dem 81). Lab gain from C. Swing 2% C to Lab.

  9. Hi everyone after a long absence – been too busy stirring up things on local letters pages.

    All seems a bit heated from a quick glance. But why the shock and awe? I seem to remember someone (maybe Anthony) said that it takes 18 months for the line “its the last lots fault” to wear off. Well we are there now, and the Coalition will now have to start taking responsibility for its own actions – good or bad.

    As it is it is bad – very bad – and thus the Government is in trouble

    What is interesting , to me anyway, is that the Eurozone is ‘in crisis’, yet its economy is growing, inflation is lower than the UK, and unemployment is not rising. Significantly the crisis ridden Eurozone’s industrial output it up – ours is down.

    If the UK economy continues to slide, and the Eurozone continues to grow – the coalition is in for hard times

    I have a vague memory that even Greece’s GDP rose more than ours – but I need to check

  10. chrislane1945,

    He was a liberal in the old and intuitive sense of the term: a believer in liberty, rather than a permissive social democrat.

  11. @NICK P
    I posted the bare bones of these results last pm Nick.
    Regarding the Walsall result, Labour polled 14 more votes than the Tories last May . So, how was it a Tory seat?

  12. @Size matters Eric. The Wells 18 month rule, was I am sure pretty accurate, when a load of technobabble was argued and countered about balance of payments and inflation. However, the smell of a 200billion debt will hang around for a while yet. It is the sheer scale of the thing.

  13. ERIC GOODYER

    2011 Q2

    GDP change:-
    EZ +0.2%
    UK +0.2%
    Greece -6.9%

    Unemployment:-
    EZ 10%
    UK 8%

  14. Agreed re: debt – but every major nation has similar debt – so it is now becoming less credible for the Coalition to keep saying it is Labour’s fault – Labour did not in-debt the world or sell sub prime mortgages to Americans

    What matters is growth – that is how debt is paid off – and whilst much of the world is growing the UK is not. Whatever or whoever is really to blame it is Osborne who will be blamed – just as Brown was blamed for things he had no control over.

    In reality we have a damaged financial system and that is the problem.

    Personally I think that the Eurozone leaders needed a few psychiatrists at their meeting, not economists. None of the 1 Trillion bail out fund will actually be spent – it is just there to make bankers feel happy. Bit like the Millionaire Pound Bank Note story

    Here however we really have spent £75 Billion on QE2

  15. CHOU

    The byelection in Walsall on Thursday was held to replace the Tory councillor who ewon the seat in 2008.

    For the record, the comparison with the 2008 result is as follows:

    2008 May 2011 Oct Change
    Con 58.9% 43.4% -15.5%
    Lab 25.4% 48.1% 22.7%
    Others 15.7% 8.5% -7.2%

    Swing to Lab from Con 19.1%

  16. @ Oldnat on Chouenlai
    “I completely agree with you as to the ageist comments now rampant on this site. These youngsters know nothing.”

    I could not agree more. All the more curious that you & the SNP want to lower the voting age to 16. No doubt you & they have your reasons.

  17. On Monarchy
    Presumably even the most fervent royalist — & the country seems full of these weirdest of zoophytes [good scrabble word] — would concede that the monarchy is an “ancient” institution, given that it is based on the most inflexible of class principles: hereditary right. The idea that you can “modernize” something which is fundamentally antiquated is v. funny.
    PS. Orwell said that he preferred a dynastic system to a politburo, as the former threw up the occasional oddball, while the latter always chose new members exactly like themselves; certainly the selection practices of the politburos which run modern public institutions bear him out.

  18. BILL PATRICK.
    good evening.

    Yes, I agree entirely that Keynes (like Beveridge) was not a permissive social democrat, as Jenkins, Crosland, ‘double’ Crossmann etc were.

    I am not sure about how liberal though, not like Gladstone was surely.

    Keynes would have had no truck with encouraging permissive behaviour, facilitating spouses from walking away from contracts/covenants with each other, away from their children etc. (the cause, I think, of many problems today)

  19. ROBBIEALIVE

    So you are advocating the age of suffrage – to what exactly? 30? 50, 65?

    Or maybe just to the age when you can respond appropriately to humour. Sad that you would never get a vote that way. ;-(

  20. Eric Goodyer
    “What matters is growth – that is how debt is paid off ”

    Or by spending less, and paying off debt with the savings. Ideally both, of course.

  21. @ChrisLane1945
    “Keynes would have had no truck with encouraging permissive behaviour,”

    In his youth at least he was a promiscuous homosexual, at a time when it was illegal.

  22. @ Eric Goodyer

    The BBC reported yesterday that unemployment in Spain hit 21.5%. I’m not sure the E Zone is out-performing us.

  23. @ Chris Lane

    “good morning and thanks for the up dates.

    Congrats to the Cardinals.

    I have ordered the book on Justice Brennan. A good Irish name.

    Over here: The Laws of Succession HAVE been changed to allow roman catholics to marry them.”

    I have to congratulate their fans too. You can like and appreciate Cardinals fans because of how they act. I think it’s cause’ they’re Midwesterners.

    Brennan was definitely Irish. His parents were immigrants. I think you’ll like the book, it gives a good insight into the legal system here. Also, what I found fascinating is that his whole family life and personal life was a complete mess for most of his time on the bench and yet he never let it spill over into his work and affect him.

    I’m glad the laws of succession have changed. We are in the 21st century afterall.

  24. @ Chou Enlai

    “I really do understand irony. You should read some of my comments. However, my mother and half sister have lived in California for 45 years and I am a regular visitor.”

    Wow, they really moved a long way to get away from you! J/k. :) Which part do they live in?

    @ Old Nat

    “I completely agree with you as to the ageist comments now rampant on this site.

    These youngsters know nothing.”

    1. Ageism is wrong.

    2. I do see the irony in your statement.

    “(Now SoCalLiberal can complain of his being stereotyped!)”

    I have to say that I’ve been stereotyped way worse than this in my life.

    Now if you want to see some funny stereotyping:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQoTlVgmPK8

    (I hate all the Real Housewives series because they’re elistit, classist, sexist, and in some cases racist…..plus they promote all sorts of bad values…but I love these four parody gals and I’d tune in to watch them for an hour every week).

  25. @Robbiealive – “The idea that you can “modernize” something which is fundamentally antiquated is v. funny.”

    Is Cameron’s idea to revive the British Empire Medal a joke?

    Last time I looked, the combined population of the entire British Overseas Territories was about equivalent to that of a town south of Wolverhampton. Why not just call the new gong for the ‘lower orders’ a ‘Dudley’ and be proud of it.

  26. @ Bill Patrick

    “Well, Keynes was a liberal…”

    Which is why I have no problem saying that I’m an economic liberal too.

  27. SOCALLIBERAL:

    “I’m glad the laws of succession have changed. We are in the 21st century afterall.”

    Well lets not get over excited we still have a head of state who holds the post purely as a consequence of an accident of birth…. modified by Act of Parliament…and if that’s as far as political evolution goes I think the Founding Fathers had travelled further to a better conclusion….

    And all the remaining titles in the remaining aristocratic British noble houses I presume continue in primogeniture…ad infinitum….

    It seems unlikely we’ll ever tackle the advantages inequitably bestowed by inherited power and wealth upon the few – so long as our society entrenches the notion that this in inherently fair at its very apex.

    If all power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely then inherited power tends to corrupt inherently….

  28. @ Chou Enlai

    “Speaking of California to Old Nat, please except my sincere condolence’s regarding the death of your 13 boys
    in Afghanistan today. My son serves with the British Airborne, as did I in the dim distant past. It has been an honour for both of us to have served with the American fighting man during our careers.”

    Thanks, much appreciated. Is your son in Afghanistan?

    I don’t think there was any mistake in going into Afghanistan in the first place but I do have difficulty understanding why we remain there. We went in to get Bin Laden. We attacked the Taliban because they were protecting him. But now Bin Laden is gone and is somewhere at the bottom of an ocean. So I wonder what we’re still doing there.

  29. John Murphy

    The flaw in your reasoning is that the monarchy in these countries (OK, Oldnat?), has very limited power. Therefore presumably will only be corrupted to a very limited extent.

    The idea that inherited wealth is somehow worse than other kinds of wealth seems very dubious. Self-made men are often ruthless opportunists, whereas many of those those who inherit money are able to take a more relaxed and caring approach to others.

    If you are hoping for some kind of dreamworld where we all have the same wealth, it ain’t gonna happen.

  30. Billy Bob @ Tony Dean.

    “Look at votes cast in LD seats at the GE. Subtract a third from LD and add these to Labour (subtract a further tenth and add to Con also if neccessary).”

    For Scotland take half Libem, and give 1/3 to Labour, 2/3 to SNP. Assume Lab lose as many as they gained, but nationally 1% loss of previous Con vote.
    pro rata to the 2005 vote.

  31. @socal
    Question (1
    Emerald Hills (Redwood City) Mom
    Monterey Sis

    Question (2
    Yes, twice 2008 and 2010/11. Home now.

    Re getting away from me, it only partially worked.

  32. @ Bill Patrick

    “He was a liberal in the old and intuitive sense of the term: a believer in liberty, rather than a permissive social democrat.”

    Could you define permissive here? I mean the man slept with like half the men of London (and some in Kent and Essex too) and mostly in public restrooms. He wrote intricate diaries describing it. Then he married a woman just to keep up appearances. I think that meets my definition of permissive. :)

  33. Surely the measure of “permissiveness” is whether you would permit others to do the same?

  34. @robbiealive
    I had no idea WE that is to say the Tory party, wanted to reduce anything to 16. However, I think there are a good many 16 year old’s posting on this board .

  35. @OLD NAT
    I do not know if you were ever a Labour supporter, I suspect you had a blinding flash on the road to Dunbarton. Anyway, you would not have been much good, since you have not had your sense of humour removed.

  36. @ John Murphy

    “Well lets not get over excited we still have a head of state who holds the post purely as a consequence of an accident of birth…. modified by Act of Parliament…and if that’s as far as political evolution goes I think the Founding Fathers had travelled further to a better conclusion….

    And all the remaining titles in the remaining aristocratic British noble houses I presume continue in primogeniture…ad infinitum….

    It seems unlikely we’ll ever tackle the advantages inequitably bestowed by inherited power and wealth upon the few – so long as our society entrenches the notion that this in inherently fair at its very apex.

    If all power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely then inherited power tends to corrupt inherently….”

    Well the Founding Fathers were mostly a bunch of radical liberals. What they did was pretty radical at the time.

    As for your system, I think it has its advantages and drawbacks. I prefer mine.

    @ Chou Enlai

    “Question (1
    Emerald Hills (Redwood City) Mom
    Monterey Sis

    Question (2
    Yes, twice 2008 and 2010/11. Home now.

    Re getting away from me, it only partially worked.”

    You, a hardened Conservative, venture into the Bay Area and the central coast? There are hippies in those parts. You are a brave man. :)

    I’m glad your son is home safe and sound.

  37. Pete B:

    “The idea that inherited wealth is somehow worse than other kinds of wealth seems very dubious. Self-made men are often ruthless opportunists, whereas many of those those who inherit money are able to take a more relaxed and caring approach to others.”

    Well….in a world where we are rigorously told the only value you have is because you work for your living it’s hard to establish clearly in one’s mind where the philosophical value of inherited wealth falls. Inevitably capriciously wealth benefits a category of opportune and undeserving in any social one group (or individual) over another….if the view of inherited wealth is that it is a benign opportunity to do good then the problem with state benefits lays in their insufficiency rather than in their excess.

    I’ll readily agree that those who propose the only valuable criteria of social utility is work-based are unhistorical and naive – but then those who often make these proposals are either beneficiaries of the system of inherited wealth and privilege or the ones who’ve made there way through the system to success….and incorrectly deduce from their particular experience there a general truth to be gleaned…that their success is equally readily available to all…

    The Chairman (?) of WPP justified his salary increase on the basis that only 10% on WPP business was generated in the UK and he has to respond to international criteria…the same criteria that took WPP first to Ireland and now back to the UK and the fact that his business model owes much of its revenue to emergent powers like India, and Brazil where the average income is as yet way below that of the average in the UK would seem to blow his argument out of the water.

    I hold rewards to be a complex business but objectively the equity of reward for labour ought to be systemic. There is always an argument to be heard from the privileged but reason tells us that the most privileged in any society will be the fiercest defenders of that privilege. When others are disadvantaged by their excess their special pleading should be heard but taken with a large pinch of salt….

  38. SOCALLIBERAL:

    “Well the Founding Fathers were mostly a bunch of radical liberals. What they did was pretty radical at the time.
    As for your system, I think it has its advantages and drawbacks. I prefer mine.”

    I’ll not disagree….

    The system I live under isn’t mine – like the monarchy, it’s inherited….

    It’s easy to diss the Enlightenment but its hard to gainsay its better insights.

    And like Jefferson and the others we might try to mould a braver new world than the one we’ve been given…but these are not the times when radicals take heart or their hopes take flight….

  39. Soccalliberal,

    I didn’t say that Keynes wasn’t permissive!

    However, it seems that all you need to be called a “liberal” these days is to be a social democrat with non-conservative (I actually shouldn’t have said permissive, since the vast majority modern liberals- in Europe at least- believe in state intervention when it favours certain approved interest groups e.g. anti-discrimination laws, discriminating laws, and hate speech laws) social views.

    It’s uncannily Orwellian when one compares what “liberal” means now with what the word once meant. On so many issues, it has come to mean PRECISELY the opposite of what it once meant.

    chrislane1945,

    Keynes, at his worst, could be quite unGladstonian. While there’s nothing about public works that Adam Smith couldn’t nod his head at, and what Keynes meant by “socialisation of investment” was probably different from what most Keynesians took it to mean (the Wise Men Who Know Best in Whitehall controlling the commanding heights of the economy), Keynes nonetheless took an illiberal stance on a key of his day: he supported protectionism at a time when Britain needed it least.

    On the other hand, just as he would disapprove of a government spending nearly half of national income as in Britain today, Keynes would have also disapproved of the centralisation of government spending. After all, he wanted stimulating public investment in a liquidity trap to be handled by local government, not by the Men in Whitehall.

  40. Soccalliberal,

    By-the-by, I know of no evidence that Keynes’s marriage was a marriage of convenience. It wasn’t like bachelorhood was suspicious in those days. G. E. Moore didn’t marry until his 40s and no-one question his sexuality, to my knowledge.

  41. Trasding Economics is a good site to get economic data without bias

    check out Eurozone as a whole – not one country. Bit like choosing an unemployment black spot inthe Uk and saying that is the whole UK

  42. Trading Economics Site
    Eurozone
    Annual Growth Q2 1.7%
    Q2 0.2%
    Inflation Sep 3%
    Industrial Output Aug +5.3%
    Unemployment 10%

    UK
    Annual growth 0.7%
    Q2 downgraded to 0.1%
    Inflation 5.2%
    Industrail ouput -1.0% (it fell in August)
    Unemployment 8.1%

    So apart from unemployment the Eurozone is outstripping the UK. We await Q3. Note that teh USA has seemed to surge ahead, and Eurozone National Debt at 85% is more than the UK at 80%

  43. Eric Goodyear,

    Interesting stats, which show the degree to which the UK’s problems are supply-side rather than demand-side. If our inflation rate is 5.2%, then demand clearly recovered from the recession; what we lack is the capacity of the UK economy to meet this demand.

    (UK NGDP i.e. inflation + real growth has fallen a bit recently, but should bounce back with QE2.)

    The blame for this supply-side weakness both falls on the coalition (with higher capital gains tax discouraging investment, a bank levy attacking one of our most internationally competitive industries, and the last budget’s attack on our oil industry) and on the previous government who left a country with an increasingly large and increasingly inefficient public sector hangover (45% of GDP in 2010).

    If you compare the second-year-after-the-recession-ends GDP growth in the UK with growth after previous recessions (many of which were less severe and so had less spare capacity) in 1994, 1983, 1960, 1934, 1910, and even the atrocious 1977, it looks terrible. The UK was usually experiencing above-trend and sometimes near-record growth in all of these years except 1977 (when our supply-side was similarly weak) so we need some explanation of why, given that demand has recovered, RGDP growth is so weak.

    As you suggest, we can’t make excuses on the basis of world demand, because economies like the US and the Eurozone are having better growth/inflation splits.

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