Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 41%, LDEM 8%. The two main parties remain extremely close, but we’re seeing more marginal Labour leads than marginal Tory ones (in the last fortnight’s YouGov polls there have been 7 Labour leads, 3 Tory leads), suggesting the underlying position is a very narrow Labour lead.

Ipsos MORI have also released the rest of their regular Scottish poll, showing Holyrood constituency voting intentions. Topline figures there are CON 13%(+1), LAB 23%(-3), LDEM 10%(+2), SNP 49%(-2), Others 5%.


262 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 39, LAB 41, LDEM 8”

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  1. Labour leads in 6 out of the last 7. No longer neck and neck.

  2. Anthony

    Actually this isn’t “Ipsos MORI’s regular Scottish poll”. These happen quarterly, and the next one wasn’t due till the beginning of March.

    Naturally, I’m pleased that they have decided to poll more often.

    That this poll suggests that LD & Con would be reduced to 2 constituencies each, and Lab to one at least isn’t polldrums!

  3. I so want to be partisan and say hip, hip, hooray.

  4. SNP 49%, down 2% on Decembers poll.

    I was going to say that is disappointing but when I think of the Lib/Dems rejoicing when they hit double figures then one can live with 49% I suppose!! :)

  5. LIZH

    Thanks – but I’m surprised that you are so chuffed at Labour being reduced to 1 constituency seat at Holyrood! :-)

  6. @ Old Nat

    Maybe Liz is similar to me & knows lots more list MSPs/ potential MSPs than constituency ones. :-)

  7. @OLDNAT

    Would you be a gentlemen and let me be second, then my comment would be in the right place relative to Robin’s.

  8. sorry gentleman not gentlemen.

  9. LIZH

    Of course. I’ll happily accept that you ignore an intervention from Scotland. :-)

  10. Amber

    :-)

    Naturally you will have some list MSPs, and you will probably know all that select little band personally. Like your coalition pals, that’s how you will get some representation.

  11. Oh crikey George Fooks is on Newsnight Scotland. One weird disgusting individuale.

    And they wonder why the Labour party in Scotland are being decimated.

  12. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    Ffoulkes has moved towards supporting FFA – though there is probably a redundant second “f” in both.

  13. Screamingly funny watching Emily Maitliss on Newsnight overseeing the discussion about Ed Lester and tax avoidance by the wealthy.

    There is one ‘Emily Maitlis’ listed as a UK company director, of Mouse Inc Ltd, registered address 157 Queens Rd, Weybridge, Surrey. The company has only two directors, with the second director and company secretary being one Jonathon Gwynne, of the same address, who is listed as a banker by profession.

    Emily Maitlis, the BBC Newsnight presenter, is married to a Mark Gwynne, formerly of Merrill Lynch. Unless she’s shagging his brother, it looks very like the Fragrant Emily is employing the same scam that Ed Lester employs, with her husband assisting as a director.

    Jeremy Paxman is a director of three companies. Two of them are LLP partnerships with 40 – 50 directors each, while the third is a Limited liability company with Paxman as the sole director. My guess is that this is the one he uses to avoid tax on his BBC earnings.

    I’m hoping that the faux outrage at Ed Lester will not be the end of this insult to British taxpayers and we start to see some real moves to redress the balance of fairness in society, with a more balanced approach than simply saying we can’t afford certain items of spending. We certainly can’t afford to allow the super rich to continually evade their fair share of taxes.

  14. LIZH
    You shouldn`t be too joyful for we`ll all be reminded that Labour should be atleast 20 points ahead at this stage of the electoral cycle when austerity is biting etc etc

  15. John Curtice now blathering about Ashcroft’s poll on Newsnicht.

    He doesn’t seem to understand that the omission of the Don’t Know option in that YouGov poll (the Forced question) tells us nothing.

    If YouGov had insisted that a Don’t Know/Undecided option be included, then we might have had a better indication whether the Unionist’s preferred question created the confusion in voters’ minds that the Electoral Commission identified in the UK Government’s proposal for the Welsh Referendum Question.

    Since they didn’t, we are no further forward. Personally, I’m much happier to see the Electoral Commission field testing the question than a Tory peer doing so.

  16. Incidentally, @Rob Sheffield’s rather anodyne mapping of his version of the centre ground in the last thread (a bit like apple pie and motherhood – meaningless, but what’s not to like about it) rather misses the potential for anger at things like I posted above.

    Throughout the Blair years, it simply isn’t possible to imagine real outrage at the kinds of things like bankers bonuses, gongs for crooks and tax avoidance by the wealthy.

    I’ve no idea where precisely the centre ground will be in 2015, but I’m highly distrustful of anyone who says that they know. We’ve seen a groundbreaking series of once in a lifetime changes in society, and we don’t yet know what the results will be, but I would imagine the most appropriate advice would be to prepare for uncertainty and not assume stasis.

  17. OLDNAT

    ALLAN CHRISTIE

    “Ffoulkes has moved towards supporting FFA – though there is probably a redundant second “f” in both”
    _________

    Good point,he has indeed shifted towards more accountability. We should listen to His lordship and his proposals more often, after all this was the man who in 2007 said we should abolish the list system in Holyrood. Hmm pity it would had left labour with 15 MSPs this time around.

  18. @SMUKESH

    “You shouldn`t be too joyful for we`ll all be reminded that Labour should be atleast 20 points ahead at this stage of the electoral cycle when austerity is biting etc etc”

    Our critics know full well that the austerity isn’t in full swing as yet and also the media has been very negative towards Ed. For us to have any lead in the polls is a miracle and is good enough for me.

  19. @ALEC
    “We’ve seen a groundbreaking series of once in a lifetime changes in society,…”

    That is why inspite of less money around etc., I feel so optimistic about the future. The younger generation will live in a better society than the one we live in.

  20. I’m just finishing the rather excellent bottle of Champagne I uncorked on hearing Labour had surged into a 2% lead, whilst watching Question Time. Not a particularly impressive panel tonight, I’m afraid, although I did enjoy the rather petulant spat between Alan Duncan and the Taxpayers Alliance representative on the subject of Overseas Aid. Sadiq Khan was sort of OK without being great and Phil Redmond, the writer of Brookside, looked like an old defunct radical, desperate to please everybody now with any residual fire left in his belly sadly extinguished. However, the clown of the evening award has to go to the execrable Digby Jones. Dear oh dear oh dear. All bluster, cliche and vacuous management-speak. A Captain of Industry in name only whose had far too many good business lunches, more than likely at the taxpayers expense!

  21. Who do you think will replace Chris Huhne if he has to go? Will it have to be a LibDem or can it be a Tory?

  22. Firstly I’ll slightly apologies for my previous post on the last thread when I gave a link related to the Mori poll.

    It was from the SNP site so it didn’t point out that although these are very good figures they actually show a slight SNP decline since December.

    I am more than happy with the figures as they do support the idea that in Scottish terms the SNP are the opposition to the Tories. But I should have checked the Mori narrative before posting.

    Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP).

  23. @Lizh – “That is why inspite of less money around etc., I feel so optimistic about the future. The younger generation will live in a better society than the one we live in.”

    Oddly enough, in many ways, I am optimistic too. We’ve been given the chance to see through the b*llsh*t, which has to be a good thing.

    I find myself reprising the old line about being ‘poor, but happy’.

  24. Digby Jones was not at his best – I had rated him quite well until this.
    I thought Alan Duncan and Phil Redmond did quite well.

    These polls are too close to call.
    They are better for the Tories than at the time of the May 2011 local elections. According to Thrasher and Rawlings, which I suspect are the most reliable as they use many more areas, the Tories actually won the national vote projection then, despite being between 2 and 7 points behind in the polls in the few days before.

    I think the Tories would win by several points if there was an election now, but not sure there’d be much prospect of a majority.

  25. CROSSBAT11

    I switched over to Question Time to see the discussion about the downgrading of vocational education.

    I don’t know enough about English education to judge the equivalences between different qualifications in that system – though I do about equivalences here.

    What would be unacceptable here, and should be in England too, is for politicians to define the details.

  26. @lizh- “… the austerity isn’t in full swing as yet”.

    FT:

    Britain faces spending cuts “almost without historical or international precedent” over the next few years and, painful as the squeeze has been so far, it amounts to less than a 10th of what is planned by the 2016/17 fiscal year, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

    h
    ttp://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/064a6902-4ce7-11e1-8b08-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1lGsOefAA

  27. CROSSBAT11
    However, the clown of the evening award has to go to the execrable Digby Jones.
    :)

    Whoever made this man a minister deserves to have their knighthood stripped…Altogether a very boring Question Time

    Alan Duncan went up in my estimation when he took the Taxpayers Alliance lady to task.

  28. So the Tories claim that Gordon Brown sold all our gold was a bit of an exaggeration.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2095535/Bank-Englands-glittering-stash-156BN-gold-bars-stored-canteen-London.html

  29. JOE JAMES B
    `I think the Tories would win by several points if there was an election now, but not sure there’d be much prospect of a majority.`

    Clegg has announced in an interview today that the coalition is going to last for 5 years and no plans to let the Tories have a minority government for a few months

  30. @ALEC
    “Oddly enough, in many ways, I am optimistic too.”

    In the last thread, I said I was pleased that a blue, a yellow a light yellow and a red had agreed. Now a green has joined the group. I think what this shows is that decent human beings agree about basic morality and know what makes a decent and fair society. The rich and powerful who control our politicians know that the only way they can hang on to their power is by causing divisions among people through fear and hate which is why we end up with so many different factions.

  31. it does seem apparent Labour are clawing their way back into a definate if small lead. something to do with not-quite-a-veto or confirmation that the economy isn’t so great now? or the upcoming budget (perhaps a little too soon for that).

    perhaps we will be back to neck-and-neck again soon.

  32. @R HUCKLE

    I think the claim was that he sold the gold at the wrongest time in history.

    We need gold if the nation is to be able to borrow. Further more, very little of that gold belongs to the UK.

  33. There is a rumour on twitter that the NHS Risk register that Lansley was refusing to publish has been leaked. Is it possible two Ministers might be leaving the Cabinet tomorrow?

  34. There’s nothing incompatible, for me, in being on the right, being pro-business and pro-small government, and still being extremely angry at the tax evasion and general sense of entitlement of the ruling elite.

    I am a great believer in calling a spade a spade. It seems to me that far too many people get away with calling a spade a “gardening implement” in their financial affairs. If you’re paid to do a job, you’re paid to do a job. Your payment is “income” and should be subject to “income tax”.

    Although I have to say that I don’t really understand why capital gains tax and other taxes on the amassing of fortune should be lower than income tax in the first place.

    What’s so wonderful about seeing a benefit from your investments, compared to being paid for working hard in an operating theatre, courtroom or battlefield?

    It’s a shame that Alexander and Willets have got themselves embroiled in the Lester arrangements, because it makes it harder for the Coalition to reverse these iniquities. I hope they still will, though. We need an “MPs expense” or a “Milly Dowler phonehack” moment, which makes the scales fall from people’s eyes and puts these things on the “to do list”.

  35. No Lib/Dems about tonight?

    I wanted to ask them what was behind their current surge in Scotland. LDEM 10%(+2)

  36. @Liz H (12.01 am)

    “The rich and powerful who control our politicians know that the only way they can hang on to their power is by causing divisions among people through fear and hate which is why we end up with so many different factions.”

    Liz,
    This is why electoral funding has to be changed and the sooner the 3 main parties can come together on a donations cap the better. I would agree with £10,000 as recomended by the committee who looked into funding.

  37. The position of the Lib Dems is interesting.
    They haven’t yet hit 6% in any poll.
    This was quite a regular occurence in 1988-90 after the Lib/SDP “Alliance” started falling to pieces after they failed to make the breakthrough they wanted in the 1987 election.
    It hit 3% once.

    However, real votes cast since the 2010 election seem to show their position slightly more serious than that earlier period.

  38. h ttp://lordashcroft.com/pdf/02022012_referendum_poll_tables.pdf

    Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?
    Yes 41%
    No 59%

    Should Scotland become an independent country, or should it remain part of the United Kingdom?
    Become an independent country 33%
    Remain part of the United Kingdom 67%

    Until now, implying that Scottish citizens could be ‘confused’ by a polling question was considered to be the ultimate insult. Now we have the pro-independence folks saying that we Scots mix up independence with republicanism, if the word “Kingdom” is mentioned. LOL. :twisted:

  39. Is there a Holyrood projected outcome calculator?

  40. Our latest psephological analysis of the boundary changes is available – follow the link:
    http://www.allthatsleft.co.uk/2012/02/east-midlands-boundary-changes-part-2-leicestershire-oh-and-rutland/

  41. Neil A,
    I fear that even if a public hate figure (someone like Gary Glitter[just an example]) were found to be avoiding paying tax using these techniques, the press wouldn’t kick up much of a fuss about tax avoidance.
    It’s like asking MPs to monitor their own expenses system – they’re all in on it, so why change it?

    Also, does anybody know what level of crime an MP has to step down for?
    Calder Valley (A Lab/Con seat) and Eastleigh (A LibDem safe seat with Lab far behind) could make interesting test-case by-elections for how strong the Labour vote now is.

  42. Apropos Ed Lester,
    These arrangements occur for 2 reasons:
    Sometimes the person being ’employed’ or ‘engaged’ will ask for this so that they can maximise their income and the employer acquieses. On other occassions it is the employer who suggests this in order to arrive at a net figure needed for the individual to come on board for less money.
    It is wrong of course and not just at the higher inciome levels – I know some salons for example will have their stylists be self-employed to avoid NI.
    Lester may well have been encouraged to do this to save the loans company money, we just don’t know.
    What it does of course is feed in to the debate about ‘responsible capitalsim’ anfd fairness and the sense that the squeezed middle are the ones who ‘do the right thing’ and pay for everything while the super rich and ‘welfare scoungers’ take advantage of the system.
    All 3 parties are going to have to come up with real policies to tackle this growing perception aone with the ideas that resonates the most will benefit in VI.

  43. @ TingedFringe

    Chris Huhne has said, if he’s actually charged, he will volunteer to go to the back benches until after his trial.

    I think a jail sentence of over a year has been mentioned as disqualifying an MP. Legislation was brought in after Bobbie Sands was elected, if I remember correctly.

    However, in the unlikely event that Chris Huhne receives a jail sentence of less than a year, it will be interesting to see what happens. I don’t think he’ll be charged… but we’ll find out in a couple of hours. CH will know already, I think. They said he’d be told a couple of hours before the 10am press conference with the DPP.
    8-)

  44. Also, I find Rob S’ description of the centre-ground to be interesting because I think that’s broadly where the centre-ground has *always* been.
    However, I don’t believe that people sit on only one side and that’s their whole political perspective – they form political opinions from both sides of the spectrum but are more receptive to one end or the other.

    What’s also interesting about a ‘centrist’ ideology, which is essentially based on ‘objective cost-benefit’, is that it needs to borrow from the other ideologies – where left-wing policies are objectively better or right-wing policies are.

    What I disagree on is that you can win elections by being purely centrist under FPTP (under PR, it’d be a fantastic – depending on who your electoral opponents are and what the state of the world is (people become more receptive to right-wing views when they view the world as dangerous and competitive – left-wing when they view as safe and cooperative).

  45. @Neil A – I fully agree regarding taxes and employment. This really shouldn’t be a party issue, and thankfully Tory MPs were joining Labour in asking some very serious questions of the Lester debacle.

    Where this really does have huge political influence is in what stems from this. The coalition is hell bent on cutting the size of the state, purportedly to solve the deficit problem, but with significant pointers (from the Tories at least) that an underlying belief in less state is the main driving factor, with the budget position providing the covering fire.

    Many analysts have long held that the main problem with UK finances has not been spending levels per se, which have generally been lower than many of our successful European counterparts, but rather a failure to adequately tackling tax raising issues.

    I would say that there is a fair chance that we will see the backwash from the financial crisis shift in a not so subtle way to the point where voters get equally concerned about who is ducking their tax as what spending is being wasted.

    This will be uncomfortable ground for the rich elites and is a theme that will continue to boil up as things get more difficult. Milliband has somewhat shamelessly jumped on a couple of helpful bandwagons already, with some poll success arising, and he has been sharp out of the blocks on this one also.

    We’re back to @Rob Sheffield’s mythical centre ground. I suspect that vigorous and unrelenting pressure on wealthy tax evaders will be very much the centre ground at the next election, and that Ed will be surprisingly well placed to capitalise on this.

    If he can demonstrate that much of the cuts agenda has been created by an unwillingness to address the really significant issue – that we have failed to gather sufficient tax and as a result have dumped too much of the tax burden of what we do collect on a restricted group of middle earners – then Labour has a message that will resonate.

  46. Crossbat,

    “I’m just finishing the rather excellent bottle of Champagne I uncorked on hearing Labour had surged into a 2% lead, whilst watching Question Time. ”

    Glad to hear that you are rejoicing over a 2 point lead. With the country supposedly in recession, cuts going on, and it being cold, if I was a Labour supporter I would be hoping for- no, expecting- a 10 point lead, not a 2 point one!

    Liz H,

    “Who do you think will replace Chris Huhne if he has to go? Will it have to be a LibDem or can it be a Tory?”

    I’m afraid it will have to be a Lib Dem. I expect that there will be 5 Lib Dems in the cabinet for some time yet. Nick Robinson is saying that he would expect it to be Ed Davey, but personally I would prefer David Laws. He’s a Tory who accidentally filled in the wrong party membership form :)

    Amber and Tingedfringe, yes it is anything over one year that disqualifies an MP. I look forwards to the possibility of a by-election in Eastleigh soon-ish. It might even be a Tory gain, which would be lovely would it not? I do not look forwards to the prospect of a by-election in Calder Valley as Labour might gain it :)

    On Chris Huhne, the BBC said that he’d know an hour before it was announced. 10 minutes to go before he learns his fate… Personally I think it is more likely that he will be charged, but we’ll see.

  47. Smukesh,

    “Clegg has announced in an interview today that the coalition is going to last for 5 years and no plans to let the Tories have a minority government for a few months”

    I’m sure that HE has no plans for a Tory minority government in the last few months. While I think it is more likely than not that the coalition will last 5 years, I wouldn’t bet that the parliamentary Conservative party thinks the same way as NC.

  48. ALEC

    @”Tory MPs were joining Labour in asking some very serious questions of the Lester debacle.”

    The best of which was from Peter Bone, who asked why the hell HMRC had approved this tax status.

  49. Re the Lester mishap…

    The ‘ruse’ by which a taxpayer sets up a company to provide a personal service to a business in order to avoid being treated as an employee of that business is intended to reduce that person’s taxation. Whatever we feel about this it is legal.

    However, for a government minister to accept such an arrnagement in order to obtain the service of a particular person (Lester) (note, not a company!) to fill a post that would be subject to PAYE and Class 1 NICs, etc is in my opinion connivance in tax evasion. It is not clear of the extent of HMRC’s ‘agreement’ to this, and I seriously doubt that they had all the facts before ‘agreeing’ to it.

    This is a matter of public policy – and regrettably the minister(s) have acted contrary to tthat policy and the public interest. IMO, Willetts (and possibly Alexander) must resign.

  50. ALEC
    @”We’re back to @Rob Sheffield’s mythical centre ground. I suspect that vigorous and unrelenting pressure on wealthy tax evaders will be very much the centre ground at the next election,”

    It wasn’t mythical-it represents the sort of principles that most people could identify with.

    That’s why it is on the centre ground-the ground that LIZH was so pleased to discover in respect of the Honours system.

    It does exist.

    Of course, that means that poltical difference will exist in subtlety, nuance & precisions of definition-Should the State fund and/or provide this service?-Should this social/medical condition/status merit State Welfare or not?-How much pan EU legislation is good for UK , and which part of it militates against the interests of our citizens?-What is “progressive” taxation, and what do we mean by “fair” taxation……….etc etc.

    “Progressive taxation that is fair and does not act as disincentive to the highest earners” will obviously include ” your “vigorous and unrelenting pressure on wealthy tax evaders”.

    The latter isn’t something different-it is just an example of the sort of detailed definition required & a reminder that evasion & avoidance are two quite different things in Law.

    If the ludicrous Lester case highlights a cohort of people who are paid employees , whilst being taxed as corporate sub-contractors, then it will have done no harm————except possibly to Willets :-)

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