The full tables for YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times are now up here. As one might guess from five point Tory lead in voting intention, they are unremittingly dire for Ed Miliband.

On leader ratings David Cameron stands at minus 3 (from from 7 last week), Nick Clegg at minus 50 (from minus 49 last week) and Ed Miliband at minus 53, his worst so far and the first time he has dropped below Nick Clegg. Only 18% think Miliband is doing well, compared to 71% who think he is doing badly. Amongst Labour’s own supporters 50% now think Miliband is doing badly.

Asked if Labour had the right policies and the best leader for them, only 8% thought they had both. 31% think they have the right policies, but only 14% think they have the right leader. Even amongst the 31% who think they have the right policies (and are therefore must be somewhat well disposed towards them), three quarters think they don’t have the best leader for them. Only 24% of people, and only 26% of Labour’s own supporters, think that Miliband should lead the party into the next election.

Turning to Labour’s policies, YouGov asked how well people think they understand the Labour party’s position on the cuts. 37% say they understand it very (4%) or fairly well (37%). 54% say they don’t understand it well or don’t understand it at all. Asked about Labour’s decision to support the 1% cap on public sector pay rises, 50% said they agreed with the decision to not reverse the cap. Labour supporters were evenly split – 41% supporting the decision (and therefore the cap), 38% disagreeing with it.

As well as this there were a series of questions on the “Boris Island” airport, which generally speaking found people opposed to the idea by about 2 to 1. YouGov also found opposition to the idea of a new Royal Yacht – only 24% of people supported it, compared to 64% who were opposed (of the 24% who supported it, 62% thought the taxpayer should contribute, with 37% thinking it should be funded wholly from private funds)

Finally there were some questions on the Falkland Islands. 57% of people think they should remain British, 12% think they should be given to Argentina. Were the Islands to be invaded again today, 58% of people say they wouls support military action to defend them, 27% say they would oppose it.

191 Responses to “Full YouGov/Sunday Times report”

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  1. Anthony, you’re wrong to say this is the first time EM has dropped below NC as that also happened a couple of weeks ago.

  2. AW – is there a reason that yougov doesn’t provide Other/Non-Vote 2010 in it’s tables?
    Just for the sake of space/getting rid of clutter, or because the client doesn’t want it?

  3. Leetay – no he didn’t. There was one where EM had a lower approval rating than Clegg, but this is the first time YouGov have shown his net approval as lower.

    Tingefringe – space more than anything. We have a set of standard cross-breaks that fits on a single sheet. Obviously if the client wants extras we shall provide, but we wouldn’t want to double the length of standard tables.

  4. Standard formula in the the papers now seems to be:

    Q. Does the public speculation over the leadership question in the labour party harm Ed Miliband’s position as Labour leaer?

    A. Depends how frequently and insidiously we keep asking this question.

  5. Anthony

    Roger – the column that should be LD 2010 voters appears to be 2010 “other” voters. The wrong columns were probably deleted when formatting the tabs!

    It’s possible, though the SNP/PC figure seems too high for that and the BNP figure too low. Still we’re only talking about a sample of around 100, so wide variation could be expected.

  6. I think we should all wait and see on this one, it really is a big shift from other polls so I would be cautious about saying that the Tories are this far ahead.

    Having said that I think that they are now ahead partly because the only Labour story the media are interested in is Ed’s leadership, which is really drowning out anything else they are doing.

    One way or the other they need to sort it and I think the pressure to do so quickly may come from Labour Councils.

    Labour should be looking to make gains in May and they need to make a quick choice; do they change leader before then and hope someone new gives them a “New Leader Bounce”, or do they rally behind Ed and put on a united front to get them though till May even if they don’t rate him.

    One thing I suggested last week, regarding the move on accepting the Governments cuts and being at odds with the Unions, was that if it won over Middle England they could be safe upsetting Unions and core support as they had nowhere else to go…….except in Scotland.

    Now if I am urging caution on this poll I really have to issue a stark warning in putting to much faith in the Scottish sample of only about 160.

    However the figures have Labour on 24% matching the Tories and the SNP on 38%.

    It could well be sample error and I think it almost certainly is in part, but I think it is worth watching to see if there has been a shift of Scottish Labour voters towards the SNP.

    Oddly enough Labours new Scottish leader had one of their parties best FMQT’s last week so I suspect they aren’t pleased that in UK terms their party can’t generate a positive headline.

    The Westminster gap between the Labour and the SNP has been steadily narrowing since the last UK election and it could be that next election it could be the closest ever.

    I’d caution that it is a regular trend for the vote to swing back to Labour in Scotland at Westminster but how much and from where is the issue. Add that to a current Scottish LibDem vote and many of their twelve seats will be up for grabs.

    Where it would all become very interesting would be if the Labour vote continued to slide and a majority was within Cameron’s sight.

    So people what odds a May 2012 general election?

    Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP).

  7. Well, at least no one can accuse Ed Miliband of peaking to soon.

  8. Lovely set of polls – plugging the Scots figures into the calculator projects Tory 6 gains – I don’t think they’ve picked up that many seats in Scotland since 1970. Rather sceptical about sample size …

  9. @BASZC
    On the previous thread you call Cameron and Osborne lightweights and describe Cameron as a walking disaster. In the light of the findings in this poll and all recent polls, regarding politician popularity, where does this put the Labour leadership in your informed opinion?

  10. @ AW – Lib Dem preference from 2010 Lib Dem column looks wrong … remaining vote in single figures, 78% apparently choosing Other (allowing for a swing to the SNP, that’s still an awful lot of people who’ve gone from LibDim to UKIP or the English Democrats, leaving aside the likelihood of that happening :-) )

    Where it would all become very interesting would be if the Labour vote continued to slide and a majority was within Cameron’s sight.
    So people what odds a May 2012 general election?
    Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP).

    I am an active Tory Peter and I honestly believe that DC wants to see this financial crisis through. I am not in the “Cameron is an Angel” category, but I just don’t see him cutting and running.


    Yes. The SNP/PCY line doesn’t seem to work. It’s the only line that can be cross checked against the “regional” samples.

    Calculating back to the original numbers, around 65 respondents seem to have that as their preference now, while c. 125 voted that way in 2010.

    The only other way that the figures could be explained is if the vast majority of the Scottish sample voted SNP in 2010, and half of them have fled elsewhere!

  13. Scottish sample..

    SNP 38% Greens 4% others 2% which 1% of that would probably be Scottish Socialists give us 43% for pro Indy parties. :)

    I’m having so much fun and I haven’t even tried out the Shandwick Scotland Votes website yet. :)


    Wanting to see the financial crisis through doesn’t preclude a snap election if he felt that a Tory Majority was what he needed to get through the financial crisis!

    It depends if;

    a) he thinks he can win and is worth the risk, and

    b) if he thinks that his own right wing are more of an impediment to seeing us through than Clegg &Co.

    Certainly Clegg and co seem only to willing to both do his bidding and take a beating for it, so you could be right if he thinks it is best to play it save on the basis that it’s better the little devil he knows that has no where else to go that an anti European bunch who have the option to back Boris or team up with UK.

    I suppose it depends on how much you think the Tories have become like the republicans with their own little tea party going on.

    They say all party’s are coalitions maybe Cameron is more at home with cross party One?

    Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP).

  15. It seems that men have moved towards the Tories. If you look back 6 months, I am sure that Labour had a lead amongst men of about 5%. The latest polls shows the Tories have a lead of 9% amongst men.

    Think this must be something to do with perceived weak leadership of the Labour top team i.e the two Eds. Also I think that men generally have a more Eurosceptic attitude and therefore the Tory position appeals to them more.

  16. Ed`s figures are shocking especially as he has had a good time at PMQ`s and a very decent Andrew Marr…Even the unions ganging up against him din`t boost his figures…I`ll confess that I expected things to improve on the leadership front… But one needs a few more few weeks/months to say this is unsalvagable…And a few other polls to confirm what`s happening

  17. You’ve missed one important factor: DC has lost the power to call a general election, ever since the Fixed Term Parliaments Act came in. He needs a 2/3 majority in Parliament to call one. He might just be able to force one with a simple majority by engineering a vote of No Confidence in his own government (as happened in Germany in 2005), but that would require either the support of the Lib Dems, who are hardly going to sign their own death warrant, or Labour, who are unlikely to believe they can get on overall majority the same time the Tories do.

    Unless the coalition collapses to the point where it is unable to govern completely, there is zero change of a general election this May.

  18. And I see it is a Green/SNP gain at the expense of Labour`s loss,so the fall in approval could well be the expected loss after the Balls speech

  19. 29% Lib Dem>Ukip
    4%Lib Dem>BNP


  20. Chou,

    I’m starting to get a bit twitchy about Ed’s stats. Three years of limping mediocrity would be fine, but if the “unremittingly dire” (copyright AW) stats take root, then even Labour may need to do the erstwhile undoable…….

  21. pyrmonter
    Lovely set of polls – plugging the Scots figures into the calculator projects Tory 6 gains – I don’t think they’ve picked up that many seats in Scotland since 1970. Rather sceptical about sample size

    The sample size is rather small but if it were the actual result in a UK election in Scotland then I doubt the Tory party would pick up the two Lib/Dem seats of Berwickshire and Aberdeen West as I think the equivalent seats both went to the SNP in the Scottish elections. I also doubt the Tory party would take Renfrewshire East from Labour. Each election Scottish/UK the seat just seems to get further away from the grasps of the Tory party.

    Now onto the two Edinburgh seats…Again both the equivalent seats fell to the SNP in May’s Scottish election so my conclusion is you would probably end up with just 1 seat..It’s a win win in my books as you haven’t actually lost any seats. Hope you followed that and still have a smile.. :)

  22. Good afternoon on a day of high drama at The Lane and at the Arsenal.

    I read on the previous thread of your view that the former Prime Minister is a war criminal and a totally evil human being, both views with which, of course, I disagree, but it is helpful to know your view.
    I am not an international lawyer or qualified to judge a man’s soul (still less a woman’s soul!)

    Yes ED has not peaked too early, and I think it is quite shocking that people are shocked that ED and ED B are not an attractive pair towards voters in an era of increasing partisan de alignment, and class dealignmnet also.

  23. Good point made about this poll over on PB.

    In the “LD” column if you swap the Lab/Lib numbers with the UKIP and SNP/PCY ones, then the numbers look much more reasonable.

  24. There must be a good chance the Tories will go ahead in the polling average the next time it’s updated. I think that will really put pressure on Ed Miliband’s leadership. Having a small lead is one of the few things he has been able to point to recently.

  25. Old Nat,

    I made that same point on the previous thread just before Anthony explained that the LD 2010 column is instead the Other 2010 column, as they deleted the wrong column from the table…..

    So that hypothesis can’t be right……

  26. Obviously not really enough of a sample, but the Scottish breakdowns are rather telling. Whilst I think its likely they have maybe too many Tories in that sample – SNP would still be leading Labour quite a bit if am right and that were removed. Wouldn’t be surprised if there was little recognition for the current Scottish Labour Leader Johann Lamont, for a really weird reason shes playing hide and seek will Ed Miliband at the moment and is sending out lackies to deal with the independence referendum…

    Most telling thing though is Ed Milibands ratings. By far the worst come from Scotland, likely a sign people are looking more to Alex Salmond for left of centre policies (hes competent and seems to mirror their feelings of social justice). Ed’s poor polling in Scotland I’d argue is likely because hes failing to stand up for what he should, and people are more pragmatic and are looking for a leader who can win the argument – Ed has no creative ideas, hence why hes flailing behind Cameron’s policies – he only thinks in terms of ‘spending, no spending’.

    One of the biggest things that could turn the independence referendum into a Yes vote would be if Labour collapse as Scots question their ability to campaign and stand up for what they believe in, or put forward credible politicians. Which trust me – David Miliband is NOT the second preference! (Personally I think Andy Burnham is the best for the job of getting voters on side from across society) Their blind opposition to Devo Max is just another major issue where their being seen as not just out of touch, but as someone who can’t be relied on.

  27. Hooded Man

    So you did!

    I’m not sure that Anthony was saying definitely that the deletion of the wrong column was the reason. As to your point re the BNP, the numbers in that column could be a total mish mash, and BNP got 1%, and SNP got 5%! :-)

  28. That still wouldn’t explain where the figures for LD transfers to the individual minor parties are coming from, and why they add up to nearly the right value.

  29. Very interesting that Labour support is at its lowest amongst the 18-24YO and C support at it’s second highest.

  30. Oldnat – I can’t be certain because I wasn’t there, but I know the way the tables are generated and formatted, and it would be a mistake that could be made relatively easily.

    It contrast It would be difficult to accidentally transpose the LD/LAB numbers with the UKIP/SNP ones.

  31. ChrisLane has pointed to this before and in hindsight he`s right…Looking at the polls,the high Labour leads were present upto September 2011 and since then there has been a steady downturn in their fortunes…The reason was Ed`s conference speech was a sign of a leftward shift…He showed us where his heart lies-to the left…And several Tory commentators pointed out that this was a mistake…that the Motorway man would be put off and that`s exactly what`s happened…Lib Dems stopped coming over to the Labour side and now there`s a small exodus.
    People can point to Cameron also taking on responsible capitalism but Ed has become defined by this quest and people are naturally quite suspicious of major change…If we were in a major depression for two years,then people would have welcomed the change…However,the squeezed middle haven`t yet been squeezed much and unless the economy collapses,it is difficult to see Ed winning this argument.

    Labour spent several decades detoxifying themselves for they understood that a shift to the left is toxic for their image…It`s not sexy and it`s not cool for centrist supporters…And the more time he spends talking about surcharges and the consumer,he is scaring away the centrists…Because ultimately,everyone understands that business has to make a profit to survive and to create employment…And while businesses everywhere are reporting profit warnings,to rant against business was a mistake… David Milliband and his team have a point that Ed`s natural heart is to swing leftwards and it`s been proved time and again that people don`t want this…Maybe in 2015,people might be desperate for a change but it is difficult to see this happening
    Another problem for Ed is his nasal septum seems to have collapsed after his surgery spoiling his looks……This is unfortunate but I do believe that this may put off woman voters…The sooner he corrects this the better…Having lost one election because of a leader`s looks,it is difficult to accept losing another one because of the same reason…All in all, a tough few months ahead for Labour supporters…The only saving grace seems to be that NHS reforms are starting to unravel and might well be Ed`s saviour if he can drive home this advantage

  32. How can I display my political affiliation, like Old Nat, when I comment?

    As you say they have never dumped a leader before, but I don’t know how long this can go on. For a very long time I hope. Notice the polls figures for alternatives.

    Europe is an important factor as you say. Perhaps now as we approach Nicolas Bonaparte on the road to Waterloo, Frau M and Dave will dampen down potential outrage on the Tory right.

  34. @smukesh
    As I think you are aware, performance at PMQ, does not get mentioned on here. However, you voice surprise that Milibands ratings are not better than they are, as a result of his latest performances at the dispatch box. I am an avid viewer every Wednesday and frankly cannot see that you point of view is valid. A popularity deficit of this size cannot be won back at PMQ. Hague never dropped to this level and frequently made Blair look silly at PMQ, but, as you know, it never got him anywhere. In any event, Miliband does not even come close to being Hague’s equal at PMQ.

  35. I agree there is a risk for the Tories aswell if it puts too much pressure on Ed Miliband.

    I’d have thought the best balance for them is an even position in the polls
    that gives both sides hope.

  36. By the way, I do hate this word “toxic”/”detoxify”.

    Mainstream political parties are not toxic – it’s en over emotive media word.

  37. Old Nat,

    I’m sure Anthony will have the full explanation later, but having created a few spreadsheets in my time, it’s perfectly possible someone deleted the wrong 2010 column before printing to PDF. It’s the only explanation that really makes sense with the numbers – the ‘Other’ 2010 column would probably look like that (eg the 17% transfers to Tories, which could come from UKIP)

  38. Smukesh/Chou,

    And unfortunately for Ed even fewer people take any interest in Andrew Marr’s programme on a Sunday morning. It will take something much more than doing the tour of the political sofas to enhance his appeal.
    Tony always preferred tea and biscuits with This Morning and Mumsnet……

  39. SMUKESH.
    Good Afternoon and thank you for kind words here.

    As to the looks of a leader, and election losses: In my memory
    Michael Foot’s appearance was ruthlessly used against him: stick, stoop and above all the Jaegar ‘donkey jacket’ buttoned badly at the Cenotaph, which was a disgrace: Either Foot knew what he was doing, or he was not aware..

    Neil Kinnock’s falling over in the sea followed by a rude sign to the media, together with his ginger hair plus his ‘guts in goose green’ words were disastrous also, as was his famous ‘You all ri’ rant. But he was brave after 1985- although I remember him undermining the Callaghan government over devolution, 1977-1978.

  40. @CHRIS LANE 1945
    Perhaps we get perceived personality defects confused with a politicians looks. The “donkey jacket fiasco” fed a feeling or view among non socialist voters, that Foot would have taken more trouble over his appearance for a Durham miners Gala, than for the nations war dead.
    As for Kinnock, he looked as if he had the fitness and stamina to be a PM, ginga or no, but his Welsh Boyo persona was never kept well enough in check.

  41. @Choenlia,

    That’s because the PMs and leaders of yesteryear were great statesmen. Today it’s all soundbites and rhetoric. Faced with the widespread cynicism and apathy of the modern age, appearance and image has become far more important (unfortunately).


    “So, where have the ugly fat men gone ?”

    Well, one of them is running Scotland – with high approval ratings! :-)

  43. @OLD NAT
    I did think of mentioning him, but did not want to upset Amber. He, Salmond, really is the proof of the argument.
    His politics are giving the Scottish people what they expect from a leader, bugger his hairstyle.

  44. Just for fun I’ve looked at my 60-poll (Scottish) sheet and split them in two to see how the averages have changed.

    Older 30 polls to the left, most recent 30 polls to the right:

    A little garish. Was playing with gradient fills. Not impressed. :)

    The results might placate the Labour voters slightly.

  45. I could make some ridiculous points about Scots being more impressed by substance, and less by style – but it would be rubbish! :-)

    If people see a leader, who is supported by a strong team who work competently together for the country, that should always have a good chance of success – in any country, I’d have thought.

    The emphasis in the above sentence should be on “If people see”.

  46. The Falklands worries me.

    Things are very different from 1982.

    We have no aircraft carriers. We have a smaller and more stretched army and navy.

    Argentina, by contrast, is economically much more powerful than it was back then. And it is no longer a country being run by an unpopular junta looking for glory with one last desperate throw of the dice.

    And the USA is much more supportive of Argentina now than it was back then

  47. @ Anthony

    Has anybody looked at the Weighting Data page for this poll?

    Here it is:
    Labour 525 373
    Conser 509 595
    LibDem 194 477
    Others 40 211
    None/DK 70 29

    I’d say somebody is having a bad day with the spreadsheet conversions. The published weightings page looks bizarre & doesn’t seem to tie to the VI table.

  48. Amber

    Those numbers must be rubbish. Also they omit the new YG weightings which include SNP/PC.

    There are so many errors in this poll, that YG really need to withdraw it, if the poll itself is flawed, or get the proper tables published.

    Maybe using that 15 year old on work experience wasn’t such a good idea after all!

  49. Oldnat

    “The emphasis in the above sentence should be on “If people see”.”

    Therein lies the foundation of “spin”.

    Blair’s success was that he (or more precisely A Campbell) made people he was believe he was capable, a centrist, and a good PM. It was a question of telling people what they wanted to hear.

    Brown’s approach was to reinforce his image as Chancellor and then PM by steadfast assertion of his economic prowess. It worked until the disconnect between the projection and the reality became too great.

    To date, Cameron has succeeded in projecting a reassuring image that is also – to date – backed up by his actions. [There has been the odd wobble, but things have been steadier recently, hence his strong ratings.]

    The problem for Ed seems to be that nobody really knows what kind of image he is trying to project. But whatever it is supposed to be, he is clearly failing at it.

    But, if Ed were to try and reinvent himself, I doubt it would work now, even if he found a clear narrative.It is far easier to paint a new image on a blank canvas than trying to paint over something which is already fixed in teh public eye. Hence, it would be better if Ed and his advisors were to work out where they want to position the Labour party – then find a new leader who could credibly present that to the electorate. Dumping Ed before the party knows what it wants is likely to cause a worse problem than simply sticking with Ed.


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