Last night’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 41%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%, with the Conservative boost from the veto continue.

Yesterday’s Feltham and Heston by-election was a confortable Labour hold, with shares of Lab 54%, Conservative 28%, Lib Dem 6%, UKIP 5%. The two polls conducted prior to the by-election were both in the right ballpark – Survation had Labour on 53%, Conservatives 29%, Lib Dem 7% and UKIP 7%, so all well within the margin of error. The Populus (?) poll for Lord Ashcroft, conducted slightly early in the campaign than Survation, had figures of Labour 52%, Conservative 30%, Lib Dem 10% – so within the margin of error for Labour and Conservative but rather high for the Lib Dems.


187 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 41%, LAB 40%, LD 10%”

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  1. BTW for the Avoidance of doubt: By ‘leading Labour Councillors’, I am talking about long serving, respected Councillors not the leader of the Labour Group.

    The coalition thing isn’t something I’ve discussed with Andrew Burns, yet, so I don’t want my comment to be mis-interpreted as reflecting his opinion.
    8-)

  2. MARTYN

    @”Cameron vetoed changing the EU Treaties
    * They’ve gone off and done their own”

    I think this is exactly what DC intended ( absent his protocol being included in an EU Treaty amendment.) …isn’t it?

    There are reports that this is what Sarkozy wanted too. ( it being Merkel who wanted a Lisbon TReaty amendment ) If so it looks as though Sarkozy edged DC into giving him what he wanted anyway.

  3. @JayBlanc

    You said “…As expected. Cameron’s veto has done nothing more than create a new bloc of EU countries with special ties that we are left out of…”

    Yep. But in fairness, that’s what usually happens: there’s a treaty, somebody doesn’t like it, they get left out, it’s no biggie. Usually it’s us ‘cos we’re Mr. Awkward Pants, but not always: Denmark kicked off over (I think) Maastricht, for example. There’ll be arguements, somebody else will flounce out, they’ll try to ratify, somebody’ll fail, the treaty will either stagger over the finish line or fall apart and (if the latter) something else will happen. It’s just another decade in the trenches.

    You said “…And in this case they could well just press on if one country doesn’t ratify…”

    One unacknowledged advantage of Cameron’s veto is the new treaty doesn’t need unanimity – it’ll come into effect when nine ratify, and even pessimistic estimates has it at at least twice that. How it’s going to cope with an Irish nonratification is beyond me, but at least it won’t be “REVOTE OR ELSE WE’LL BE VEWWY CWOSS WIV YEW” this time, which just p****s people off.

    Regards, Martyn

  4. @Colin

    There is a nasty tickle in the back of my head that says this is all stage-managed… :-)

    Regards, Martyn

  5. SoCalLiberal

    Milliband pronounced it as La-Mont (ie as if it was French for “the mountain”). The stress is laid on the “Mont”. Since Norman French names seem to have some social cachet , Norman La-Mont (former Tory Chancellor) was a a subject of much ridicule in Scotland when he (or his Dad?) chose that pronunciation).

    Norman Lamont was born in Shetland. It’s actually a name of Norse extraction meaning “lawman”, and is pronounced without stressing either syllable. Johann pronounces her name the way that is normal in Scotland.

    Milliband (a Londoner with little understanding of Scotland) thus gave verbal confirmation of that. Probably few would have noticed except that he completely forgot Mackintosh’s name, and his comments were widely broadcast.

  6. Martyn

    “There is a nasty tickle in the back of my head that says this is all stage-managed”.

    Glad you posted that thought. I thought I was being over-cynical for thinking exactly that!

  7. Martyn

    THis is one of several sources for the Sarkozy/Merkel split on objectives :-

    FT

    Germany was among those countries insisting the UK should have observer status in Brussels talks on the new inter­governmental treaty. But Ms Merkel’s rapprochement has more to do with German national interest than a sentimental attachment to Britain or regard for Mr Cameron.

    “We think Merkel would still love to have this treaty agreed at [the level of all] 27 [EU members],” says one British official.

    Mr Sarkozy, who wants a looser fiscal pact that does not hand new powers to EU institutions, is firmly in the opposite camp. But while he may believe most European countries favour “more solidarity and regulation”, Germany and many other member states are closer to the UK’s enthusiasm for fiscal discipline, open markets and free trade.

    Speaking in the Bundes­tag on Wednesday, Ms Merkel expressed her “great regret” that the UK had decided 20 years ago against joining the common currency but insisted that it was “beyond doubt Britain will remain an important partner in the EU”.

    Britain was “not just a reliable partner in questions of foreign and security policy” but also in many other questions, such as promoting competitiveness, the internal market, trade and measures against climate change. The UK also had a “vital interest” in the eurozone overcoming the debt crisis, she added.

    The treaty talks unfolding in Brussels have also put the UK and Germany in the same corner. Berlin now appears to favour a quick, limited treaty of two or three pages that would contain only the raw elements of fiscal discipline: a “debt brake” on national budgets and a more automatic sanctions regime for those that break the rules. France wants a much more ambitious deal, embracing issues such as tax harmonisation and labour market reform.”

    I believe that the hints ( ?threats) about FTT & city regulation were in a letter from Sarkozy to Van Rompuy-if they were the catalyst for DC’s protocol, then the subsequent French intransigence can be seen as part of a deliberate ( & successful) ploy to force DC down the route Sarkozy wanted-ie UK on the fringe/ Treaty within the EZ.

    Looks like Angela has been missing David a little-perhaps she has had a bit too much of le petit francais ?

  8. @ Old Nat

    You are not reading the results tables correctly. 1.78% is of total vote in all sections, NOT total of section1, Parliamentarians.

    CandidateTom Harris
    S1 = 1.778 %
    S2 = 3.444 %
    S3 = 2.730 %
    Total 7.95 %

    Johann Lamont
    S1 = 17.778 %
    S2 = 12.183 %
    S3 = 21.807 %
    Total 51.77 %

    Ken Macintosh
    S1 = 13.778 %
    S2 = 17.707 %
    S3 = 8.797 %
    Total 40.28%

    8-)

  9. @Oldnat

    The pity is, we’ll never know for sure…

    @Colin

    Agreed.

    Regards, Martyn

  10. SoCaL – in the UK it’s not just the agents who get to attend the count. Candidates can take counting agents who get to attend the counts, and generally speaking a high proportion of party activists get to go along to the count.

    The legal position in the UK is that you can poll people who have already voted, but you are not legally allowed to publish the results until after the polls have closed (hence UK exit polls being published at 10pm on election night).

    When people vote by postal vote prior to election day, the guidance agreed by the electoral commission and the British Polling Council is that you can poll them as part of a poll of the whole population and publish those figures, but you’re not allowed to single them out and publish figures for just those people who’ve already voted.

  11. @OldNat

    Norman Lawman/Mountain – that would explain why he attended so many summits.

    I would never have guessed he was from Shetland. He doesn’t sound like a Shetlendar (either of Scots or Norse ancestry).

  12. @ Martyn, Old Nat

    “There is a nasty tickle in the back of my head that says this is all stage-managed”.

    Glad you posted that thought. I thought I was being over-cynical for thinking exactly that!
    ——————————–
    Hooray! And then there were 3 – I’ve been saying it since the day of the ‘veto’ & now I have 2 friends.
    8-)

  13. Amber

    Ah! I see what you mean.

    Actually 75 Parliamentarians voted, and the numbers were La-Mont 40 : Macintosh 31 : Harris 4.

    I wonder who the 5 Parliamentarians were who didn’t vote?

  14. Amber

    You’ve always had a lot more than 2 friends! :-)

  15. One of the factors not discussed in the postal vote debate that followed my post listing the 48% Lab v 35% Tory split, was the difference in the turnout.

    To repeat the numbers – 61% of voters with postal votes actually voted whereas 23% of those without postal votes bothered to do so.

    I admit up front to being an unashamed supporter of postal votes. The reasons being:

    Politicians have been most concerned about the drastic fall in turnout at elections that has occurred over the past two decades or so and they have being promoting a number of experimental voting methods in order to try and reverse the trend.

    They have championed “electronic” voting, “telephone” voting, “extending the voting period to 2/3 days”, “compulsary voting”, “voting in supermarkets” and “voting at weekends” but when these proposals have been tried, none of them have produced any significant increase in the number of people that bother to vote.

    None that is except for Postal Voting, where the results have been encouraging to those seeking greater democratic involvement

    In the May 2000 local elections experiments started where in a small number of wards in a number of councils, the election was held via a 100% postal ballot. The result was a 50% increase in the number of electors who voted compared to previous years.

    The experiment was continued in 2002, when some Councils elected ALL their councillors by a 100% postal ballot. In the town I live, Stevenage, turnout across the town rose from 28.1% to 57.5%. Across the UK, only 6 councils held 100% postal ballots but in every case, the results showed a remarkable similarity and turnout doubled.

    Of course thanks to the idiotic actions of a small minority of candidates from all parties who chose to cheat by “rigging” the postal voting in their wards, Postal Voting itself got a bad name and electors faith in the system deteriorated.

    However, in Stevenage, where there has never been any accusation of wrong doing, postal voting remains popular, particularly among older voters. As a consequence, over 20,000 Stevenage voters vote by post, out of a total of 68,000 in the constituency. This is the highest % level of postal voting in the UK.

    Postal voters in Feltham & Heston have shown themselves over 2.5 times more liable to vote than voters who do not vote by post. It’s true that the weather in December is bad, but not that bad!

  16. RAF

    Norman Lamont was born in Shetland – but brought up in Grimsby which is, as you know, a hotbed of pretentious social climbers! I make no mention of the MP.

  17. @ Old Nat

    How did you calculate 5 non-voters amongst the Parliamentarians?
    8-)

  18. @ Old Nat

    :-) Aw, thanks – that’s really cheered me up. :-)

  19. Hi everyone, I promised Chrislane1945 that I would do a counterfactual on Tony Blair staying on as PM untill 2010. Here is a little taster to whet your appetite and may I thank John B Dick for his helpfull imput about the SNP. I am not sure what the polls would be like for a Prime Minister about to end his third term so I kind of “Borrowed” a poll from the Major era.
    One last thing. Enjoy.

    1st January 2010.

    Prime Minister Tony Blair sat in his office at Chequers wearing a very pensive expresion. The new year was to be an election year and Labour was in for a kicking. Tony Blair was in the unprecedented position of being the first Prime Minister in living memory to run for a consecutive fourth term. But victory would be a mountain climb away.
    If the polls were to be believed, on 18% of voters would be voting Labour, four points behind the Liberal Democrats and a whopping 33 points behind the Tories.
    Things were looking desperate.
    Despite being the longest serving Prime Minister in living memory, Blairs girp on power seemed to be slacking due to the fallout of the MPs Expenses scandal, The Invasion of Iran and the Second wave of London Bombings ,Labour’s spectacular defeat in the Glenrothes By-Election which saw the SNP romp home with an 11,000 seat Majority and the sacking of Gordon Brown during the Northern Rock crisis during in the Autum of 2007.
    But like the EU President, Peter Mandelson, he was a fighter and not a quitter.

  20. @ Old Nat

    http: //www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/bye-bye-england-snp-plans-closer-scandinavian-ties-after-independence-6272337.html

    I finally found the Independent article that I mentioned a few days ago. It vanished off the website but it’s back now; I think they’ve maybe made a few updates to it, too.
    8-)

  21. Amber

    I used Goal Seek in Excel to find the only whole numbers that matched the percentages.

  22. KYLE DOWNING.

    Just signed in after the AFC Bournemouth fiasco v Sheffield United- two own goals on a freezing day.

    Made me laugh thank you.
    We will never know though!

    What we do know is ED will never be PM

  23. chrislane1945

    Thanks. I know I will never be as good as Francis Beckett but these sort of things are fun to write. I got a bit of inspiration from that channel 4 show with Robert Lindsey The Trial of Tony Blair. I hope I could elaborate more on these counterfactuals.

  24. @Martyn

    Still not convinced… and still speculating.

    Firstly, google “postal votes” and you get a lot of Conservative candidate appeals for their supporters to apply for a postal vote (and @Sergio – plenty of Con postal vote prosecutions just to balance things out), and none from Labour candidates… this fits imo the profile of Conservative voters being more organised and likely to vote.
    Any statistcs about relative proportions out there?

    Secondly, I found the Survation for Barnsley Central: They overestimated Con, and underestimated Ukip… or, Ukip took Tory votes in the later stages of the by election campaign:

    Labour, 63% (Survation)/ 60.8% (result)
    Conservative, 13% / 8.3% – 3rd place
    UKIP 9% / 12.2% – 2nd
    Liberal Democrats, 6% / 4.2% – 6th
    Another Party (Independent?), 5% / 5.2% – 5th
    BNP, 4% / 6% – 4th

    As per my original post… *If* the opinion polls for Feltham and Heston had Con high and Ukip low… then a “veto” boost makes up difference and halts any Con-Ukip swing in the later stages.

    Agreed, on the whole F&H denizens not that bothered about the EU… excepting perhaps the Con/Ukip voters. ;)

  25. KYLE DOWNING.

    I like the Beckett book- Francis that is, and St Thomas!
    (pity what Henry viii did to the tomb in Canterbury, and to the bones of the saint).

    I missed the trial of tony blair- shame.

    I thought that Lindsey was brilliant in his first big role, opposite Michael Palin, in the play about Militant in Liverpool, the name of which escapes me. Palin played the school teacher in a ‘special school’ and Lindsey played a Liverpool Militant leader.

    1988 ish

  26. ICM / Sunday Telegraph:

    Con: 40%
    Lab: 34%
    LD: 14%
    Oths: 14%

    Seats projection: Con 322, Lab 277, LD 23, Oths 28

    htttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8963512/David-Camerons-treaty-veto-delivers-poll-bounce-but-voters-want-a-referendum.html

  27. KYLE.

    It is Robert Lindsay, and the play was called ‘GBH’ and it did cover left wing politics.

    When Labour was unelectable. NICK P says I have an unhealthy love for the man, the only man since 1966, which made Labour electable.

    Guilty as charged my Lord.

  28. ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph 17.12.11:

    Con 40, Lab 34, LD 14.

  29. Amber

    Thanks for the link. I’m surprised that anyone would see the SNP aspiration to have a Nordic style defence force as newsworthy.

    If, likle the UK, you aspire to invade other countries from time to time, then spending 2.7% of GDP on the military might seem worth while.

    Spending at least 1% of GDP less than that, and spending the money on better services (for the left), or reducing taxation (for the right) seems rather more sensible options for Scotland.

    However, the the BritNats in UK Labour don’t agree (neither did Harris or Macintosh – Lamont simply refused to answer), so we have no idea whether SLab wants to continue to spend resources on aggression, rather than the people, or not.

  30. The ICM poll means we must have a referendum on the EU now

  31. Yes, that evil warmongering country Denmark.

  32. Not a great figure for ICM – and points to yougov maintaining a Con lead.

    I don’t think this will help quell the “GE in early 2012” rumours that are going around.

  33. @Tingedfringe,
    ‘ don’t think this will help quell the “GE in early 2012? rumours that are going around.’
    That is all very well , but the PM no longer has that power following the passing of the Fixed Term Parliament legislation.

  34. ALISTAIR BULL

    “The ICM poll means we must have a referendum on the EU now”

    Why?

  35. CHRISLANE1945:

    how prescient our conversation…I’ve been busy today/ tonight….but I’m sure we can reignite…. more illuminatingly and to better effect than DC…..

  36. “The ICM poll means we must have a referendum on the EU now”
    Why?

    Because the would clearly be the balanced, responsible thing to do for the country, Europe, the world and the whole Universe and its what I was told Santa I wanted for Christmas….

    Nope that doesn’t work for me either ….!

  37. @ Anthony Wells

    “in the UK it’s not just the agents who get to attend the count. Candidates can take counting agents who get to attend the counts, and generally speaking a high proportion of party activists get to go along to the count.”

    Is the counting done by hand or by machine? From all the coverage I’ve seen (thanks to AndyJS), it looks like you have individuals counting ballots by hand, which I imagine would take forever.

    Can non-citizens attend constituency declarations on election night? Don’t laugh but if I ever visit the UK during an election, I kinda want to attend a constituency declaration. The whole process of having all the candidates stand on stage together with all their supporters in the room as the final result is announced is something that seems incredibly exciting. It’s also something truly unique to the UK that you can’t find anywhere else.

    “The legal position in the UK is that you can poll people who have already voted, but you are not legally allowed to publish the results until after the polls have closed (hence UK exit polls being published at 10pm on election night).

    When people vote by postal vote prior to election day, the guidance agreed by the electoral commission and the British Polling Council is that you can poll them as part of a poll of the whole population and publish those figures, but you’re not allowed to single them out and publish figures for just those people who’ve already voted.”

    I was thinking of campaigns privately polling (and not releasing the results purposely) in order to get an idea of where the vote count stood in cases where you had really high absentee voting. Of course, I suspect postal votes are generally a very small percentage of the overall number of ballots. It’s different when postal votes account for 50% or greater of the total number of ballots cast.

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