Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%. While the boost that the Conservatives received from David Cameron’s veto appears to have declined somewhat from the Conservative leads we briefly saw last week, it doesn’t look like it’s vanished completely.

Tomorrow night’s YouGov poll is the last daily poll before the Xmas break, and while we may or may not also get an ICM/Guardian poll this month, we really won’t know for certain what the position is until next year (and even if the Tories are still enjoying a veto bounce now, it may well have vanished by January!)


183 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 40, LAB 40, LD 10”

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  1. @NickP

    “But you fail to address my point that the reduction in the total number of seats was designed to favour the Tories.”

    I wouldn’t assume that the reduction in constituencies, and the redrawing of boundaries that the change involves, is necessarily a done deal yet. There are a number of disgruntled Tory and LibDem MPs who, now they’ve seen the small-print, are having second thoughts and following the recent revelation by the Electoral Commission that there are probably up to 6 million non-registered voters, there is a growing alliance of MPs and Peers who are determined to block the progress of the legislation.

    I envisage a Parliamentary battle royale over this and I wouldn’t assume that the 2015 GE will be fought on the proposed new constituency base.

  2. richard o

    “Conversely, Labour are attracting far more younger people, as its far trendier to be left wing when your younger (I found this out rather quickly when I was pro tory at Uni!)”

    You should have gone to St Andrews.

  3. This sort of simple Lab vs Con analysis also sadly ignores the Liberals, SDP and LibDems (post-unification).
    It ignores the rise of Plaid and the SNP.
    It ignores the absolute collapse in turnout.
    Etc

  4. @NickP

    ‘But you fail to address my point that the reduction in the total number of seats was designed to favour the Tories.’

    No it was not designed to favour Con. The reduction in the number of seats was born out of the expenses scandal and was ‘designed’ to placate those calling for the ‘Cost of Westminster’ to be reduced.

    If the boundary commissions had received the same strict directives from Parliament concerning the max and min margins for electors per seat within regions within a 650 total HofC, then there would still have to have been major changes to constituencies and also the number of constituencies per region. As my chart clearly shows there were considerable differencies in the average number of electors per constituency between the region. If you look at the seats within any region then again there were huge variations. In the main the constituencies with the smaller number of electors tended to be Lab held ones. So balancing up would have decreased this Lab bias, whatever the HofC total is used.

    It is the tightening up of the allowed margins that has forced changes to correct the bias, not the reduction in seats, which has affected all parties.

  5. @tingedfringe

    You are right, I certainly treat England, Wales and Scotland all separately.

    Wales is actually the least interesting (in GE terms) because the boundary changes in Wales mean that there will be only 3-5 marginals (and only 2 or 3 seats will be winnable for Plaid at the GE). The tories may lose 3 of their seats there through the boundaries as well as a large Labour hit.

  6. @ Billy Bob

    “Chancellor Merkel will press the button and the ECB will metamorphose into a full-blown, flying, lender of last resort, central bank, thereby saving the entire eurozone project. But a crisis of Europe’s banks could throw everything into a dark pit before that happens.”
    —————————————
    An EZ institution similar to the US Fed is required – or they could go the whole hog & adopt the Uk system which is basically: The Uk government can create as much sterling as inflationary pressures will allow.

    There is no moving forward without some such mechanism; EZ bonds will be +6% compared to US ones until the EZ is perceived as being risk free, regarding the capital amount (as are US & Uk bonds because the money to repay the capital sum will simply be created by the Fed / government, if it isn’t otherwise available).
    8-)

  7. @John P Dick, @Amber

    I agree with John that the potential dynamics of a Labour/SNP/PC coalition are worth thinking about, given the possible arithmetic. The SNP’s votes in a hung parliament will still potentially count for something, whether it is just to passively refuse to vote against a minority Labour government, or to go further and support that minority Labour government in any vote that it chooses to make into a vote of confidence.

    A full blown coalition would seem to be a pretty unlikely outcome, not least because Labour would find it hard to offer much more in the way of devolution without provoking a constitutional crisis in England and/or undermine the UK’s fiscal integrity (e.g. devolved corporation taxes). The only potential to offer something significant would be as part of a wider package of devolution across the UK, involving some catching up across England at a regional level through devolution of some of the powers already given to Scotland and Wales.

    But even if little were offered, what might prevent the SNP from bringing down a minority Labour government (or frustrating its formation) would be its fears for the potential reaction in Scotland. After 5 years of a coalition government, as unpopular in Scotland as in the North of England, what would be the popular reaction if the SNP were seen to have risked more of the same by making a UK Labour minority government impossible? The risk for the SNP is that the act of forcing another general election would cause them to be viewed as part of a wider alliance of the political right, giving Labour the potential to recover some left leaning votes in a repeat of the scenario that has befallen the LDs.

  8. A Cairns @ Tinged Fringe

    Scotland is the least interesting from the Con side because the outside limits for change are +/- 1with the most likely outcome in the middle..

    On the other hand Scotland is the most interesting from the Labour perspective if Labour are only a few seats short of being the largest party despite significant losses to SNP, both outcomes being possible or even likely.

  9. I can envisage the likes of Sarwar, Murphy and Alexander being flexible with the SNP at Westminster, the problem for S Lab is I’m not sure if Johann Lamont is capable of that.

  10. As Joe says further up, the idea that the number 600 specifically advantages the Conservatives is complete guff.

    It could be that the Conservatives would have done better at 585 seats, or 600 seats, or 615 seats…. but put simply, it is impossible to predict with any accuracy whatsoever, and it would have also been impossible for the Conservatives to predict it in advance with any accuracy whatsoever.

    You’ll remember before the boundary commission published various different people making predictions of what the results would be like, with widespread variations. Ultimately, there any many different ways that the Boundary Commissions could divide up the country into 600 seats, they have many different partisan implications, and it is impossible to predict before hand whether a BC recommendation for 600 seats would be better or worse than one for 585 or 625 or 650.

    That goes triple if you don’t have electorate figures to work off, and the 600 seat number was set before the 2010 electorates were published.

    Now, one might very well think that the reduction to 600 seats was an excuse to allow a reallocation of seats per se, but the particular number cannot have partisan significance, it is simply not possible for anyone to know whether any given figure would, in practice, be better or worse for any political party.

  11. Amber

    “Labour must find a way of ‘speaking with’ older people that makes them feel needed, valued & aspirational regarding their own FUTURE contribution to society.”

    You know, that sounds really patronising to us geriatrics!

  12. HAL

    “Just why would someone retired worry about unemployment?”

    If they didn’t have kids, they probably wouldn’t – but most of us do.

  13. Oldnat

    Break em down for spare parts, is what I say :smile:

  14. ADRIAN B

    “it is pretty well proved that minor parties in coalitions get hammered for their trouble”

    Except that wasn’t the case for the Scottish LDs who maintained a coalition with SLab in 1999, 2003 (and would have in 2007, if SLab had got more seats than the SNP.

    Their constituency vote was 1999 – 14% : 2003 – 15% : 2007 – 16%.

  15. Amber

    “Labour & SNP coalition is not a ‘nightmare scenario’; it is an utterly pointless one, if the SNP would refuse to vote on so-called ‘devolved matters’ in Westminster.
    A UK coalition which could not address issues in the NHS or education would be as much use as a chocolate teapot so there would need to be a change in approach to that by the SNP if they are to be considered as Coalition partners by Labour.”

    That entire situation only exists because there is this insistence by some that the “UK Parliament” should also be the “English Parliament”.

    It really is a very silly arrangement.

  16. RiN

    I doubt that many of our spare parts would be very useful! We’ve worn them out through living the sybaritic lifestyle that has condemned the rest of you to poverty! :-)

    As ever, I wholly agree with Alec’s analysis far upthread about the necessity of taxing assets and not just income.

    Among many silly aspects of Reform Scotland’s proposals for “Devolution Plus” was to transfer Income Tax to Scotland, while leaving NIC with the UK. A dafter division of taxes is hard to imagine.

  17. @ Old Nat

    You know, that sounds really patronising to us geriatrics!
    —————————
    It depends whether you geriatrics want to be part of the solution or just say: “So long & thanks for all the fish”.

    My mother is 70 years old. She is still very much interested in what she can do to make the Uk a better country for everybody.

    Her present occupation is looking after my brother’s 3 young children; she is now thinking ahead to what she will do, once they are a bit older – undeterred by the fact that by then she’ll be 75.

    IMO, Labour (&/or the government) should be thinking about how to ‘speak her language’; not the language of dependency & economic selfishness that has become the political standard.

    If you think that’s patronising, that’s a pity. But there are lots of older people, like my mum, who would appreciate not being written-off by her Party/ government as care-home fodder!
    8-)

  18. @ Amber (12.02)

    “I’m not sure how much this sentiment appeals to the over-60?s; many seem to think that they themselves had particulary hard lives (post-war austerity) & believe that young people ‘don’t know how lucky they are’. Even if they dearly love their own families, many believe in general, that younger people could do with a dose of austerity & hard work!”

    Amber, couldn’t disagree with you more. I am a member of a walking group drawn from all walks of life and typically aged 65 -70. We are agreed that we must be the luckiest generation out. Why? :-

    1) By and large we missed the war or were too young to remember it.
    2) Our formative years were in the sixties, Beatles, Beach Boys et al. Won’t go into the other aspects of the 60s.
    3) We were able to find employment without any great problem.
    4) We bought houses at a relatively cheap price which then rapidly increased in value during subsequent years.
    5) We retired (at least most of us) before we hit 65.
    6) We retired with a good pension (typically final salary).

    In essence, we had it much easier than our parents and as far as we can tell it will be much easier for us than for our off-spring.

  19. Amber

    What was patronising was talking about us as a group who need to be “talked to”! (It’s similarly patronising to talk about the “young” or “women” in the same way.)

    Many of us have 50+ years experience of making decisions in the world that we have lived in, and we have seen marketing techniques come and go.

    Your Mum changed your nappies, and had opinions about politics while you were concentrating on your next feed, and screaming when you didn’t get it! :-)

  20. Peter Bell

    Dead right. Also, those of us under 70, had the best possible nutritional start to life with the rationing that ensured that we were the first generation for whom good nutrition was the norm – and not just restricted to the better off.

  21. @OldNat

    ‘That entire situation only exists because there is this insistence by some that the “UK Parliament” should also be the “English Parliament”.’

    Tut! Tut! That definitely requires a ‘spirited’ response, even at this festive time of year.

    The UK Parliament is the parliament for the whole of the UK. As such it is the national parliament for all the parts of the UK, including Scotland, Wales and N Ireland. Unlike those regions, England does not have a REGIONAL Parliament (yet). At some time in the future, that could also happen, if it is the wish of the people of England and if it is approved by the whole of the UK Parliament. Of course changes may be necessary to the current arrangements within the UK Parliament, to prevent other Regional Parliaments and their MPs from all parties from having a vote in any devolved English Parliamentary matters. It would of course have to be a UK approved decision and not just an English ‘ultimation’, as its decisions will impact on other regions of the UK

    Should the people of the Scottish Region of the UK express a wish (in that ‘long awaited’ and much ‘bragged about’ referendum perhaps), that they wish to leave the UK completely, then that will be fully considered and most probably agreed to. Again the final decision will have to be a UK one as all parts of the UK are affected. Until then the Scottish Region remains part of the UK both in law and fact.

    If the current Government of the Scottish Region of the UK want to investigate what arrangements a ‘completely separate’ Scotland could hope to negotiate both within the UK and the EU, in terms of Currency, Border Controls, EU membership, Fiscal Control, Foreign Policy, International Recognition, Embassy Representation, UN membership, to name but a few areas, then they may wish to begin discussions, before banging the ‘Independent Scotland’ drum too loudly. Otherwise the rest of the UK may tell them to go and …. play somewhere else. But as it is almost Xmas, very politely.

    :-)

  22. @ Old Nat

    What was patronising was talking about us as a group who need to be “talked to”!
    ——————————————–
    I said ‘speak with’… not ‘talk to’.
    8-)

  23. Amber

    So – who the hell do you “speak with”, if not to the largest age demographic who actually vote?

  24. Oldnat @ ADRIAN B

    “it is pretty well proved that minor parties in coalitions get hammered for their trouble”

    “Except that wasn’t the case for the Scottish LDs”

    In an environment designed for coalition, so not necessarily comparable.

  25. FrankG

    Always nice to have a spirited discussion with someone – mine’s a Laphroaig, by the way.

    Indeed, the English region of the UK doesn’t have its own Parliament, it uses the institutions of the UK for its own purposes. Surely Cameron should have put a veto on such abuse of the institutions of the Union?

  26. @ Peter Bell

    Amber, couldn’t disagree with you more. I am a member of a walking group drawn from all walks of life and typically aged 65 -70. We are agreed that we must be the luckiest generation out.
    ————————————
    It’s good to hear that… It makes me wonder why Labour’s ‘Promise of Britain’ doesn’t resonate with older people.

    What would/ should you all be willing to do to improve the prospects for the Uk as a whole; & do you think you & your peers are already doing it?
    8-)

  27. JOHN B DICK

    It’s always difficult to remember that when some talk about things being “pretty well proved” that they are only talking about their own wee Parliament in London, and then generalising that out to the rest of the world (or simply ignoring the rest of the world).

  28. @ Old Nat

    So – who the hell do you “speak with”, if not to the largest age demographic who actually vote?
    —————————-
    Ed speaks with younger people. He is bringing lots of young people into his cabinet & operations. If Cameron can be said to have a ‘women voters’ problem, Ed may equally be said to have an ‘older voters’ problem.

    Just because older people have always been more likely to vote Tory, it doesn’t mean that the situation should just be accepted by Labour.

    Did you even read my comment, or were you feeling too patronised to pay attention to all of it?
    8-)

  29. Amber

    “Labour & SNP coalition is not a ‘nightmare scenario’; it is an utterly pointless one, if the SNP would refuse to vote on so-called ‘devolved matters’ in Westminster.”

    As you say, IF.

    but IF the price were right for the SNP? That would be a divisive faustian bargain for Labour.

    My advice to Labour would be to look at any proposal from every possible angle for the SNP won’t be offering to do you any favours.

    My guesss is that Labour could be persuaded to accept a deal that would disadvantage SLAB to the great surprise of all parties at Westminster.

    How Tavish Scott would laugh!

  30. Amber

    I read Miliband’s speech.

    “The promise of Britain is not just about the promise we make to them, but the promise they must make to themselves and our country to be good citizens.”

    That followed 5 priorities which I totally agree with (but other parties have precisely the same priorities.

    Except on tuition fees (and apprenticeships and housing), of course, where he is talking only about England – and doesn’t he know what the devolved governments have done on tuition fees?). Why is that a “promise “of” (and why “of”, not “for”?) Britain, and not the UK?

    Why should such vague aspirations change people’s VI?

    Mom and Apple Pie.

  31. @OldNat

    “Always nice to have a spirited discussion with someone – mine’s a Laphroaig, by the way.”

    Since it is almost Xmas (and I will be celebrating that 2 hours earlier than the rest of you in the UK) I have switched to Ginger Wine (Stones from UK of course).

    As for using the institutes of the UK for English matters your point would be very appropriate if (whenever?) we have an English Parliament. If of course, you feel that having your own regional parliament within your region is unfair on the Scottish Region, then please feel free to sell ‘Holyrood’ to the nearest bidder and move your regional parliament to London to use its institutions there.

    Mind you since any London based Scottish MPs may not be then deemed to be resident in Scotland, does that not invalidate them from voting in the referendum and voting in Regional elections under your previously stated criteria

    :-)

    Another bottle of ginger wine opened!

  32. Amber

    “Ed speaks with younger people.”

    So, when are you going to choose a leader for “all the people”? :-)

  33. @FrankG

    The official Government line on this is:

    * The UK is made up of four countries.
    * They are called Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England.
    * England is further subdivided into nine regions.
    * They are called [blah,blah,blah]
    * When referring to the twelve, the term is “countries and regions of the UK”

    Officially, Sco/Wal/NI are *not* regions.

    Regards, Martyn

  34. FrankG

    Can I recommend Crabbie’s Green Ginger Wine? Just to ensure that Anthony’s site isn’t thought to be advertising only one brand of Ginger Wine.

    I’d rather change the system whereby the concatenated UK/English Treasury doesn’t get to make the rules as to which UK expenditure is “non-attributable” to any part of the UK, and whose costs have to be borne by all of the UK.

    Strangely, these decisions seem to favour London. While other parts of England lose out through that too, there is no mechanism to protect them against London’s rapacious tendency. For the devolved nations, the cost of these has become much more transparent.

  35. Which of these party leaders will still be in their positions at the general election? (Tick all that apply)
    Selection

    David Cameron CON

    534 votes

    Ed Miliband LAB

    300 votes

    Nick Clegg LD

    348 votes

    Nigel Farage UKIP

    379 votes

    ________

    Ouch not looking good for Ed. Perhaps it’s the voice? ;)

    http://poll.pollcode.com/J8g_result_duplicate

  36. Which of these party leaders (Scotland) will still be in their positions at the general election? (Tick all that apply)
    Selection

    Johann Lamont
    15
    Willie Rennie
    10
    Ruth Davidson
    26
    Alex Salmond
    38,798 :)

  37. Amber & Oldnat

    At 72, I think I can pull rank here.

    Those of us who experienced wartime rationing learned what evolutionary psychologists and anthropologists have since discovered: the longer survival of grandmothers compared to grandfathers (and the menopause) favours the survival of a grandmothers genes in the gene pool. A second mother is available to forage for food.

    The male strategy of old men competing with younger males for access to fertile females does the same thing. They do that by acquiring resources which demonstrate that they can support offspring till they become able to fend for themselves.

    So to attract the granny vote, child health and child nutrition (including pre-natal) is where you need to focus.

    “Eat up, you’re at your Granny’s.” we were told.

    Granny had been saving some of her rations maybe for weeks so that you could have more, and she got more satisfaction from watching you eat it than she would have got from eating it herself.

    Martyn can perhaps enlighten us on the post-war Dutch experience. The generation whose mothers suffered malnutrition during wartme had health problems. Now, hoteliers are raising lintels and buying longer beds.

    My guess is that the partie(s) in government which delivered that turnaround got the granny vote big time.

  38. JOHN B DICK

    As well as the documented effects on developing foetuses in the Hongerwinter in the Netherlands, human priorities may well have been demonstrated by the fact that of the 18,000 deaths, a large proportion were elderly men.

    Maybe when Amber asks what we are prepared to do for future generations, the answer is – die.

  39. @OldNat

    Re Crabbie’s – can’t get that one over here.

    I’d rather change the system whereby the concatenated UK/English Treasury doesn’t get to make the rules……. etc

    Gosh if you find the UK Treasury a bit of a problem – then how will you cope with being within the EU as a completely separate nation (former country (not region) – to please Martyn!), living on the Euro with your budgets checked by ‘Germany?’ and abiding to the Eurozone Fiscal Rules. Of course Scotland would be a welcome net contributor to the EU budget, in return for getting many of its national interests (for example fishing) ignored by the rest of the EU using QMV.

    I can remember one aspiring UK PM standing up against the EU when they tried to rename the English Sausage. Will the Scottish Haggis be next I wonder!

    :-)

  40. ALLAN CHRISTIE
    I can assure you that PB has more than it`s fair share of right wingers who spit fire at anything Labour or Ed…Not a fair poll to judge public opinion

  41. @OldNat

    ‘Maybe when Amber asks what we are prepared to do for future generations, the answer is – die.’

    At least she didn’t call us ‘coffin dodgers’ that could have got her into all sorts of problems.

  42. SMukesh
    ALLAN CHRISTIE
    I can assure you that PB has more than it`s fair share of right wingers who spit fire at anything Labour or Ed…Not a fair poll to judge public opinion
    ____________

    That will probably explain the astonishingly high UKIP vote in the poll.

  43. ANTHONY WELLS and anyone else; HELP please.
    I always thought, was taught and have taught that the 1918 Representation of the People’s Act only enfranchised women from 30 years old and upwards. The new OUP book says this as well, as does Martin Pugh in his writings on this theme.

    However two GCSE Boards’ official text books say that women aged 21 married to property owners also were enfranchised.

    Is this true? Many thanks, as I thought 21 was the age in the 1928 Act, when women had the vote ‘on the same basis as men’
    Thanks again!

  44. FrankG

    Such questions should be addressed to Iceland. We are already in the EU – we just have another Union in between, which (quite rightly from their point of view prioritises the interests of the largest concentration of population).

    The treatment of fishing is a very unwise example for a Brit to use, given that the UK Government decided those interests were “expendable” in favour of other “much more important” interests outwith Scotland.

  45. ChrisLane1945

    1918 Act

    “4.(1) A woman shall be entitled to be registered
    as a parliamentary elector for a constituency
    (other than a university constituency) if she –
    (a) has attained the age of thirty years; and
    (b) is not subject to any legal incapacity; and
    (c) is entitled to be registered as a local
    government elector in respect of the occupation in
    that constituency of land or premises (not being a
    dwelling-house) of a yearly value of not less than
    five pounds or of a dwelling-house, or is the wife
    of a husband entitled to be so registered.
    (2) A woman shall be entitled to be registered as
    a parliamentary elector for a university
    constituency if she has attained the age of thirty
    years and either would be entitled to be so
    registered if she were a man, or has been admitted
    to and passed the final examination, and kept
    under the conditions required of women by the
    university the period of residence, necessary for a
    man to obtain a degree at any university forming,
    or forming part of, a university constituency
    which did not at the time the examination was
    passed admit women to degrees.
    (3) A woman shall be entitled to be registered as
    a local government elector for any local
    government electoral area-
    (a) where she would be entitled to be so
    registered if she were a man; and
    (b) where she is the wife of a man who is entitled
    to be so registered in respect of premises in which
    they both reside, and she has attained the age of
    thirty years and is not subject to any legal
    incapacity.
    For the purpose of this provision, a naval or
    military voter who is registered in respect of a
    residence qualification which he would have had
    but for his service, shall be deemed to be resident
    in accordance with the qualification. ”

    Like you, I taught the “30 age” thing all my professional life!

  46. OLD NAT.

    Very many thanks for this. Where is the source for this please.

    And very merry Christmas and New Year to you and to yours!

    (We first ‘met’ on here during a vigorous debate over education in the summer!)

  47. ChrisLane1945

    That raises an interesting point. Unless it’s mentioned elsewhere in the Act, it doesn’t give a minimum age for the wife of a ratepayer to have a vote.

    The definition of an appropriate ratepayer seems to cover both England/Wales and Scotland (I don’t know what the situation was in Ireland).

    However, you could be the wife of an appropriately valued ratepayer in Scotland at the age of 16.

    Did that mean that some 16-20 year old women could vote in Scotland?

  48. @OldNat

    “We are already in the EU – we just have another Union in between”

    Unions can be so tricky to deal with. However I don’t think that Scotland is a member except by being part of the UK. If and when you decide you would like to become completely separate from the rest of the UK, then you can always negotiate the entry terms or maybe just sign up to what is being offered – the Euro, no internal borders, EZ fiscal oversight, full contribution as a net contributor etc.

    Which govt decided your fishing rights were expendable? I thought the UK had just recently negotiated extra catch for all UK’s fishing fleets.

  49. And Labour people are happy that they have ‘elected’ and retaining in leadership a man who we know will not win the GE in 2015.
    ——————————————————————

    And lo, that man sayeth “I am not Tony Blair” and his party rose up and sneereth at the man who had led them to the promised land. :-)

  50. ChrisLane 1945

    I found this extract from the Act.

    http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/1918-rep-people-act.pdf

    (I have no idea why I once said I would ease you out of my school btw! though it obviously got to you – as a debating point should :-) )

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