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. “I disagree – looking at the figures it would take a minor miracle for Labour to take the seat.”

    Definitely agree. The best that Labour could manage is to get 20% of the vote which would probably be enough to see the Lib Dems defeated at the hands of the Tories.

  2. It all depends how many Lib Dem voters are anti-Tory and switch combined with a swing to Labour.

    I agree it’s far fetched but we have seen some spectacular by elections gains in the past.

  3. JBD

    @”I said as much and was misrepresented as accusing him of duplicity and failing to appreciate the great virtue of his loyalty.”

    Jeeez-you really don’t understand do you?

    Look-this was the comment you made , to which I responded :-

    “I am willing to accept that Alexander knows nothing is the explanation for almost anything he does or does not do. I am sure that there are many who have worked for the Liberal cause in the Highlands since he was in primary school who would agree.”

    So-an assertion that DA lacks intelligence-based upon your certainty that those who knew him at primary school ( nudge nudge) , and subsequently in “the Highlands” ( nudge nudge) will agree with you-that he was & is a bit thick.

    And what evidence do I see for this ?

    As Chief Secretary to the Treasury , he has the biggest & widest financial responsibility in Government after the CoE.
    Does he struggle with his brief when interviewed? Does he forget which numbers are which when interviewed?
    Does he get things wrong when interviewed?.
    Answer-No in every case.

    Does he communicate government fiscal policy well in interview?-Yes
    Is he smooth/slippery/too clever by half ?-No
    Does he shout & bawl in interview ? -No
    Does he struggle successfully with what seems a slight speech impediment ?-Yes

    Does he seem normal?-Yes

    Is he doing a good job ?-apparently-no one has complained that he isn’t.

    So-We have an accusation that the man in charge of every number of significance in UK public finances is a bit dim; made by a former Hospital number cruncher ( if memory serves) based purely on your nods & winks .

    I responded to it because it is just another nasty piece of cybernat spite.

    Hope that explains :-)

  4. I would certainly not predict a Labour win in Eastleigh. Nevertheless ,in 2005 in 2005 when Labour polled 36% nationally it managed 21% there.Given that Labour’s national share appears now to be nearer 40%, it seems to me that 25 – 30% in Eastleigh now would not be unrealistic.That probably would hand the seat to the Tories – but why should Labour care about that?

  5. Aren`t we getting ahead of ourselves?With the possibility of both persons charged going to prison on conviction,the chances of conviction are quite low

  6. smukesh

    Do we know if they are both pleading not guilty?

  7. NICKP
    Not sure about Vicky Pryce yet…Chris Huhne has declared his innocence as we know

  8. NICKP

    @”Do we know if they are both pleading not guilty?”

    A very interesting question.

    If the answer is “no” it will make the trial of CH very interesting.

  9. If she pleads guilty, it would be very hard for him, I suspect. He would have to prove that either she is innocent and still pleaded guilty or that somebody else drove the car.

  10. NICKP

    Indeed-the defence could consist of “spurned wife syndrome”.

    That would become unpleasant.

  11. I suppose he could argue that she told him she was driving and to the best of his knowledge it was true. And that if she wasn’t driving, it must have been somebody else.

    But the circumstantial evidence appears to suggest he was driving back from Stansted.

    Speculation…we shall wait and see.

  12. “The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called on the Welsh government to take urgent action over the state of education in Wales.

    A schools inspectors report found 40% of children reached secondary school with a reading ability below their age.

    The CBI also points to international Pisa statistics from 2010 which found the attainment levels of Welsh 15-year-olds was behind much of the world.

    Estyn’s chief inspector Ann Keane said earlier this week her organisation was concerned about the standard of reading and writing “in a significant minority of primary schools”.

    Her report said 20% of pupils arrived at secondary school with a reading age below nine years and six months – generally considered the level of functional literacy.”

    BBC

  13. @ Anthony,

    This is really a question from the previous thread but I figured you may only be keeping tabs on the most uptodate thread.

    Your article on “Do you agree/disagree” questions was fascinating and confirms my suspicion that they always skewed the vote in favour of the proposition. It is fascinating that your article was preceded by the thread on the Scottish Independence question “Do you agree that …”. Does this not, in the same way, skew the result in favour of independence. On top of that I’ve heard that the “yes” side has an inherent advantage as instinctively people like to support a proposal (which makes the AV No vote even more resounding).

  14. whilst I obviously am not privy to the full evidence against Chris Huhne, in my view the court case on a minor matter which is alleged to have occurred almost a decade ago is a complete misuse of public resources! Admittedly I hold Chris generally in high regard but even most of his detractors would agree that he has been an effective Cabinet Minister and pity for the Liberal Democrats to lose a bit hitter in cabinet even if some of his interventions could be a bit OTT. I wish Ed Davey well though in the Energy brief and think that was probably the right choice.

  15. James Cole

    Surely if Huhne DID get his wife to take his speeding points to avoid a ban that is not a minor matter?

    The speeding itself might be relatively minor.

  16. @BT Says

    “Well it’s up to the government to change the law then if there is genuinely an ‘unreasonable’ loophole; no point castigating the very typical human beings who take advantage of it.

    This is not only legal but human nature of all classes, but some of the angry comments about it sniff badly of envy and class war I am afraid.”

    Does that include my comments? I mentioned IR35, which is the previous government’s attempt to reduce this form of tax avoidance. In effect making a lot of it tax evasion. If someone is an employee, or is basically effectively acting as an employee, then IR35 says they should be taxed as one. Using an intermediary company vehicle has been outlawed for many people. I know this because I’ve seen people need to change their arrangements precisely because of IR35 as it was implemented in 2000 and 2007.

    It’s not ‘class war’ to ask if an arrangement that looks like it would be ruled tax evasion if undertaken by an IT contractor would also be so if undertaken by a head of a public body. Even if ‘rubberstamped’ by civil servants and perhaps a minister or two.

    @Jim Jam

    “As a point of fact it was the so called Real Labour candifate who issued homphobic literature in Bermondsey.”

    It was like this. Peter Tatchell was the official Labour Candidate. A disgruntled member fought a pretty openly homophobic campaign against him.

    But, at the same time Simon Hughes ran with subtler line, leaflets referring to him as the ‘straight choice’ were not written without acknowledging the double meaning and the message being sent out. Hughes, to his credit, acknowledged recently that this was not on – about the same time as his sexuality became known.

  17. ADRIAN B

    For shame!

    Anthony specifically asked that the unmentionable subject should only be discussed on specific threads.

  18. @ NickP,

    “We have seen some spectacular by-election gains in the past.”

    Errr… yes, usually when Labour has been on it’s way to forming the next government. The very fact that no-one believes it is remotely possible (leaving aside the question of whether there really will be a by-election), should tell us where Labour is heading.

    If there is a by-election it will be a test of Labour’s mettle.

  19. @James Cole

    Speeding is minor (of course, persistent speeding that would lead to a 12th point and a ban is less minor).

    Perverting the course of justice is actually quite a serious offence.

  20. Thanks Old Nat for pointing that out – I think I must have been behind the bike sheds having a fag when that rule was given out …. :-))

    But I will adhere from now on …. and very well restrained of you for not responding.

  21. adrian b

    Yes indeed. We shall see if the Lib Dem collapse aids Labour in these areas. It will be very interesting indeed.

    Where I disagree with you is the “no-one believes it is remotely possible”.

    I do. I happen to believe the press and westminster insiders are ignoring waht the polls keep telling them. Labour are going to win…and it won’t take much of a shift to make that win BIG.

  22. I very much doubt that the decision to prosecute would be
    taken without some very decisive information indeed.
    What is interesting is that the evidence that persuaded
    the decision to,finally.prosecute,was being held by the
    Sunday Times no less.Well,well.

  23. ADRIAN B

    I’m a good boy! :-)

    As to your activities behind the bike shed ………….

    (I understand that the term you used can have a different connotation in some English schools.)

  24. I wouldn’t read too much into this by-election. By-elections that happen following scandals are notoriously random and have all sorts on unpredictable effects.

    One other major difference between this by-election (should it happen) and a general election is that the coalition parties will be limited on how they can campaign. In particular, with an election that prominent, it will be very difficult for the Lib Dems to use the “Vote Labour get Tory” slogan. Mind you, the Tories were quite happy to run a Lib Dem hate campaign late year, so who knows?

    If the Lib Dems do lay off attacking their coalition partners, one effect of a bad result might be a message that next time they should spend more time attacking their coalition partners in a bid to entice the Labour vote.

    All complicated, and I’ll bet that no matter what the result is, all parties will claim it was a good result for them in spite of / especially considering etc. etc.

  25. If Labour could pull it off…and I admit it is unlikely they’ll even get close…another effect could be to convince normal tactical anti-Tory voters to vote Labour across the South. Small scale that would help Con…but big scale (i.e 40% plus LD switch to Lab) it could get Lab back into the South.

  26. One final thing,there has been much comment on the
    foolishness of Hunes wife destroying herself because
    he had an affair.From a womans point of view, I have to say she has my sympathy.Just look at her replacement!

  27. ann

    “Just look at her replacement!”

    That sounds a bit partisan to me. Is there any polling on preferences…ex or mistress?

  28. Nick,I am pleased to say that I have absolutely no idea.

  29. @NickP
    While I think a Lab win at Eastleigh is unlikely, should Huhne be sent down, is unlikely, thanks for keeping the faith. I am tired of wondering why some people think Lab 40% is abject failure while Con 39% is a roaring success. If the question ‘Which party would you vote for if there were a GE tomorrow?’ is not as clear as day, why are its results filtered through some strange counterfactual universe where a lead is not a lead?

    Enjoyed Nick Cohen’s article on EdM’s courage.

  30. Tark

    I agree. Lab lead the polls, despite all, and frankly I can’t see that changing much for long.

  31. ANN MILES

    I’m sure that she is valued for her intelligence and personality, rather than her looks.

    Surely that is a good thing? :-)

  32. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ed-miliband/9057323/If-Labour-ditched-David-and-Ed-Miliband-it-could-actually-win-an-election.html

    Many things in this article- most I pointed out before Xmas. Particularly the need to drop BOTH milibrothers

    “It will not be resolved, though, by David Miliband. He has a habit of popping up whenever his brother gets into trouble, waving across the hall to MPs he hasn’t spoken to in months and conducting meetings in the House of Commons’ coffee bars, rather than his office. When Ed is doing better in the polls, David disappears back to the overseas lecture circuit. If he genuinely wanted to help, he’d join the shadow cabinet or resign from Parliament. Instead, he is posing as the man-who-may-run-again. As Sarah Palin found out, such status can certainly up your rates as a pundit, or corporate adviser. But Labour has no question to which David Miliband is the answer”

  33. ROB SHEFFIELD

    ” Labour has no question to which David Miliband is the answer”

    I can think of several.

  34. @ Liz H

    “The public seem to perk up when there is a scandal and Huhne’s family tragedy will be followed by the electorate. That is why this will have an impact in the LD VI.”

    I haven’t been following that closely. Did something happen to his family?

  35. @[email protected] H

    “”That is why this will have an impact in the LD VI.”

    I haven’t been following that closely. Did something happen to his family?”

    He’s facing charges of ‘perverting the course of justice’, and so is his ex-wife. I suppose she counts as family.

    I wonder if the LD VI will suffer though. Paddy Ashdown and Clinton didn’t do too badly in some respects. Not sure about their VI though. They seemed to survice their little scandals with almost respect from some people.

  36. Omg, I just realized that I confused Eastleigh for Eastbourne. (Insert dumb, ill-informed American joke here). Whoops.

    I just read up on this. If he’s convicted of “perverting the course of justice”, will he be forced from office? Or could he continue on in jail?

  37. SoCalLiberal

    “Leigh” means a woodland clearing. “Bourne” means a stream (spelt burn in Scots).

  38. @SOCAL

    In theory he could easily go to jail if found guilty. Open prison most likely, but with the 21st century UK electorate’s fondness for politicians, I doubt the judiciary would slap his wrist and tell him not to do it again.

    The silly thing is, he would have had no more than a six month driving ban, assuming he is guilty, and he had taken it on the chin at the time.

    His wiki is quite interesting, if not very flattering in some respects.

  39. @SoCal

    Legally:

    An MP who is convicted on a sentence of 12 months or more is disqualified from office.

    In practice:

    It may be more complicated. When Eric Illsley was convicted of expenses fraud, an outcry forced him to resign prior to sentencing. The sentence, as it turns out, would have disqualified him anyway, but their was talk of Commons trying to expel him as an MP if that didn’t happen.

    A further complication is that all parties (but particularly the Lib Dems) have agreed in principle to giving constituents the right to recall MPs if they have committed “serious wrongdoing”. Unfortunately, they have not properly decided how you define “serious wrongdoing” yet. It could mean that the Lib Dems would have to sacrifice Hulme as an MP in order to keep credibility on this reform they’re so keen on.

    In short – if Chris Hulne is found guilty, it will be either difficult or impossible to keep his job as an MP.

  40. Rob S

    I’d rather bare my nethers in Binns front window than listen to Fraser Nelson about what Labour should and shouldn’t do.

    He is firmly of the right-wing breed who think that the rise of Blair was the biggest triumph of Thatcherism. The thought of even a moderately social democratic Labour party being electorally successful is, to him, somewhere between anathema and terrifying. So of course he will do his damnedest to stiffen the sinews of the Labour “modernisers” who might challenge Miliband.

    Such a challenge would do two things.
    1) It would move Labour back to a (to Nelson) safer centrist position.
    2) The turmoil would effectively kill Labour’s chances in 2015.

    Perfect outcome for Nelson. So of COURSE he will write this sort of piece. I expect more such pieces from him over the next year as Labour remain stubbornly ahead in the polls despite having a leader less popular than genital warts.

  41. @ AKMD

    “Socal, Labour were actually 2nd in the 1994 Eastleigh by-election which was how the Lib Dems won it in the first place. That was a year where the Tories were particularly unpopular and also when Blair became leader. I’m not sure if he was already in place by the time that by-election was held.

    In answer to your earlier question, reshuffles are rarely of interest to anyone outside political circles.”

    I just realized I had confused Eastleigh for Eastbourne (doh!). I think it’s the after effects of a flu I had the past few days (or some sort of something similar to a flu). I have a feeling that Labour might rebound in a seat like this but I’m not sure if they have enough of a potential coalition to win the seat.

    “I agree. Portland sounds quite interesting”

    I haven’t spent much time up there. From a purely ideological standpoint, I’m glad that obscenity is constitutionally protected speech in Oregon. I’ve never seen it but I’ve heard of a film called “No Sex Please, We’re British” where people get ahold of an adult film and spend the whole movie trying to hide it and/or prove it’s not theirs as they risk prosecution for it. I’m glad that sort of thing can’t happen to freedom loving Oregonians.

    On the other hand, on a practical side, I can see the drawbacks. I admit to being something of a NIMBY and I care about things like property values and preserving neighborhood integrity. I’m not sure I would really like it if a strip club or a club featuring live sex shows moved in next door to me and I couldn’t do anything about it.

    Oregon is a beautiful state though, it’s unofficial motto is “Come for the fishing, stay for the strip clubs.”

  42. @LEFTY

    :D

  43. @Statgeek I’m sure you know that in this country it’s innocent till proven gulity though the media often ignore this. In the worst case scenario the judge shouldn’t be giving any consideration to a profession’s popularity when passing sentence!

  44. @TingedFringe (and others)

    I don’t think you have your “right/left” comparison of tax avoidance and benefit fraud quite right.

    Firstly, not all on the right are sympathetic to tax avoiders. You need to remember that most Tory supporters are just ordinary folks, in ordinary jobs.

    Secondly, the correct comparison is not between tax avoidance and benefit fraud. It is between tax evasion and benefit fraud. OR between tax avoidance and benefit abuse

    A person who minimises their tax liability through clever (but honest) accountancy is on a par with a young woman who gets pregnant in order to secure a flat, or with a man and woman who have children together but choose to live apart because they get more money that way. In other words, morally wrong but legally permissible.

  45. @ Tinged Fringe

    “I like Ron Paul’s non-interventionist foreign policy view – and I think that would also fit with most Democrat voters too.
    The problem would come when he’d be calling for the stripping back of the state to it’s core functions – I suspect not even most Tories would be supportive of that.”

    Liberal Democrat voters? Or liberal (sometimes Liberal) Democratic voters? Because I don’t think his non-interventionist views fit with the latter at all. Most Democrats are not non-interventionist and support an active foreign policy. That’s true historically and it’s true today. Ron Paul represents an old school model of conservatism on foreign policy. It’s still conservative though. And still wrong.

    His ideas on government are purely looney.

  46. @ Statgeek

    “I wonder if the LD VI will suffer though. Paddy Ashdown and Clinton didn’t do too badly in some respects. Not sure about their VI though. They seemed to survice their little scandals with almost respect from some people.”

    I think that people care about these scandals when the scandals clearly affect governance or when the politicians were already unpopular. Then an affair or similar scandal actually works people up. When things are good and people like the person, they tend to ignore it.

    @ Old Nat

    ““Leigh” means a woodland clearing. “Bourne” means a stream (spelt burn in Scots).”

    Thank you for the linguistic explanation.

    @ Chris Neville-Smith

    Thanks for that explanation. I always find it funny when politicians refuse to resign after being convicted and run for reelection from a jail cell.

  47. @ Neil A

    “I don’t think you have your “right/left” comparison of tax avoidance and benefit fraud quite right.

    Firstly, not all on the right are sympathetic to tax avoiders.”

    Don’t you guys believe in or follow the rule of lenity at all on taxes?

    There’s a significant difference between those who illegally avoid paying taxes and those who take advantage of legal loopholes.

  48. @Lefty Lampton.
    :)
    I do wish DM would stop loitering around like an Iago de nos jours. Talk about sore loser. Yes, the leadership result was close – but it was legitimate. Now get over it. You nearly won. But you didn’t. Labour does not (in theory) do dynastic succession. It’s a shame. He’s intelligent and talented, but if this is the way he reacts to a fair election defeat, I do wonder how good he would ever have been as Lab leader.

    @Neil A
    I agree about the false left/right divide on tax issues. Some of my Con and GOP acquaintances are the most reliable of tax filers ever. A true conservative does not seek to beggar the state s/he lives in. I’m also irritated by the lack of perspective on tax avoidance (since we agree that evasion is illegal) – there is a world of difference between someone putting money in an ISA once a year, and a company making so much money (and thus incurring a large tax liability) that it is worth their while to employ an accountancy firm to advise on tax loopholes. Both legal – but the latter fails the stink test.

  49. @James Cole

    “In the worst case scenario the judge shouldn’t be giving any consideration to a profession’s popularity when passing sentence!”

    Of course they should not. They might, however, think that if someone whose job is to sit on the body that writes the laws and oversees part of the justice system has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice, that person should be held to a high standard.

  50. @ Old Nat, Adrian B

    Anthony specifically asked that the unmentionable subject should only be discussed on specific threads.
    ————————————-
    Yes, but this one has a Saltire on the header so it’s the others who are gate-crashing our party today. ;-)

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