Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 41%, LDEM 7%, Others 15%. It’s a four point lead for Labour and a very low score for the Lib Dems, the lowest since last month.

Normal caveats apply, it could the start of a trend, or it could just be normal margin of error – we’ve had one 4 point and one 5 point Lab lead this month, and a poll last month showing the Lib Dems at seven, and in both cases things were back to rather more normal figures the next day.

That said, while YouGov’s daily polls are flitting between Labour and Conservative leads due to normal variation within the margin of error, we are seeing rather more Labour leads than Tory ones, and rather bigger Labour leads than Tory ones, suggesting the underlying position is a small Labour lead of a point or so (the average Labour lead in YouGov’s polls so far this month is 1.5 points).

161 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 37, LAB 41, LDEM 7”

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  1. @Amber Star

    Forgot the smiley at the end of the last sentence.

  2. The data supplied a few threads ago on the multiplier effect of lack of in an open Economy such as ours was very instructive.
    $7Bn will make little difference to getting consumption moving as in order for that to happen the fear of unemployment has to reduce significantly and/or the housing market has to start rising again; neither of these are going to happen in the next 2 years.

    Even if real wages start to rise if people still fear unemployment they will reduce debt, pay off some mortgage for example, and not spend; as we know many have done with low interest rates redcuing monthly payments.

    The question then is if the chancellor feels he can spend $7bn (whether it should be more is a different discussion) what should he spend it on.

    Increased public spending seems to be out of the question, although don’t be surprised if $1-2bn goes to specific projects, so which tax cuts will he chose.

    I find reading the (am I allowed to mention) Gruniad this morning that the LDs accept £10K threshold in one go is too much and are pushing for a one year acceleration. I did not know about this honest but it just seems logical to be as a permament $7bn tax cut may prove, within the Gov’t framework, unsustainable.

    I see Balls is saying he would prefer a one-off VAT cut costing £12bn but if the Government won’t do this a threshold increase would be acceptable.

  3. @AmberStar/LizH

    Did either of you listen to Edwina Currie’s conversation with a woman who rang in to Nicky Campell’s phone-in programme on Five Live last week? The caller was the mother to a Derbyshire family whose main bread-winner had lost his job – and the family were skipping meals to survive. I didn’t listen to the programme, I have to say, but did read some reports of it in the Sunday press and it would appear that Currie reduced the woman to tears by her abrasive and unsympathetic line of questioning. It sounds as if, certainly in Currie’s world, that a certain level of destitution and deprivation has to reached before sympathy or help can be afforded.

    I find all this very worrying, as I do the apparent recent rise in hate crimes against the disabled who, in some people’s eyes apparently, are glorified benefits scroungers. As Chris Lane1945 sometimes muses, where will all this end, I wonder?

  4. I can see Greece having a mini civil war, with the people turning against the politicians. I bet the Greek government are making sure their Police and Armed Forces are still getting paid.

    It is crazy situation to be in, caused by bad government decisions over decades. Their neighbours Turkey are apparently doing quite well, so I am not sure why they want to join the EU.

  5. @ Liz

    I guessed you weren’t being entirely serious (even without a smiley).

    I read the article about restricted calorie increase lengthening life-span; interestingly it doesn’t actually advocate what the headline suggests (quelle surprise!).

    It suggests, that for 2 non-consequetive days, eating around 500 calories is healthy. They then say that 500 calories is a handful of vegetables & a few cups of tea. Which is nonsense; you can eat loads & stay within 500 calories provided you don’t put sugar in that tea they mention.

    But back to the point of people needing foodbanks – the article also says that you should ‘over-eat’ on the other 5 days to get your weekly calorie intake back to the RDA x 7 days (about 10000 cals for a woman & 14000 for a man).

  6. @CROSSBAT11
    “Did either of you listen to Edwina Currie’s conversation with a woman who rang in to Nicky Campell’s phone-in programme on Five Live last week?”

    I also only read about it. If Edwina wanted to be credible, she should have taken her own food and other bills and made a comparison with the mother to show how it is possible to live on less. I bet people like her don’t do it because they know they will have to admit that some people are having to go hungry to make ends meet.

  7. CroosBat.

    Re: the discussion on macroeconomic policy.

    In such discussions, I’m regularly reminded of the (hopefully not apocryphal) comment by the French Diplomat in response to a suggestion from his British opposite number: “That’s fine in practice but how will it work in theory?”


    @”But isn’t that the point of cutting VAT? It’s a regressive tax that hits lower earners disproportionally and if you take it back down to 17.5%, thereby putting something like £450 back into the pocket of the average family, then most of this money will find its way back into the economy.”

    Bill Patrick dealt with the vexed question of the incidence of VAT.

    THe £450 pa figure is very questionable & certainly wrong.
    £450 pa from a 2.5% increase equates to £18,000 pa of VATable purchases for your “average family”.

    Given that the median net family disposable income is around £24k pa-you imply that at least 75% of that expenditure is VATable.

    Consider the major items of a family budget which bear no VAT :-

    Mortgage repayment/Rent
    Council Tax
    Childrens’ clothing

    -and that major utility bills bear a low rate of VAT.

    I think the figure of £450 pa is badly flawed.

    We know from Stephanie Flanders , one reason-you should not assume that all VAT is borne by domestic consumers. She established that around one third of VAT is borne by entities not registered for VAT, like charities & some commercial sectors. THese charge no VAT & therefore cannot reclaim their VAT input tax.

    IT seems clear to me therefore, that in a depressed economy which has been over-reliant on credit fueled domestic consumption, use of tax breaks to encourage the purchase of big-ticket discretionary consumer spend is not best use of money.

    If we wish to help families-they need more cash to help pay their major unavoidable expenditures-and those are not subject to VAT. This would argue for reducing personal taxation.


    @f he were to spend on tax-cuts (I doubt he will – I think he’ll plug the money in to solving the debt problem), I’d imagine he would spend on increasing the tax threshold – pleasing both middle-class Tory voters and the LibDems.”

    I think he may actually raise some more revenue-those loopholes on stamp duty for example.

    So I think there will be room for relaxing the plan
    a bit if he is undershooting deficit forecasts.

    I hope he doesn’t go mad though.

  10. @Amber

    You said “…Try this: Go for 2 days without food. Then eat one small meal, then try to go another 24 hours without & tell me you are not “starving”…”

    Amber, serious question: do you think my personal circumstances (or yours for that matter) are relevant to the argument? I have spoken in the past of my concern regarding the propensity of contributors to share details of their lives, and this is one of the reasons why. The argument stands or falls regardless of any personal tragedy or benefit that may have befallen us.

    Regards, Martyn

  11. @Roger Mexico

    You said “…I didn’t answer you last night as your posterior seemed to be in enough trouble as it was. But as to seem to be a glutton for punishment, I have to point out that your scenario required another twelve identical and similarly priced properties to magically appear every week – unless you were intending to just add a new family per week to the original dozen…”

    The rental market is seasonal: it dips dramatically from October/November to Easter, then picks up again in Easter and stays high until October/November. This is for historical reasons (quick, can anybody say “harvest”) and carries on today thru student letting, holiday letting, and the propensity of people not to move during the winter. My point is that the number of flats available in February is a low point: absent Luftwaffe bombing it will increase.

    I take your point about “per week”, but “per month” I am correct: I assume you are not contending there are only 12 flats to let in the whole of the year in Bournemouth.

    You said “…Since the ones you found are clearly restricted (student only, no claimants), short term or very hard to let, this seems unlikely and supply and demand would tend to increase the rents of those left or newly appearing…”

    Er, not quite: I’ve just looked back and checked, and although LizH was correct that some were student-only (see below), the rest were not (I think the “let until sold” thing is a distinction without a difference) and are available to our hypothetical family (2 adults, one on £26K, two kids). Should they appear on the doorstep with the deposit and refs then at least one of those flats would be let to them on a assured shorthold tenancy (so that’s six months)

    You then said “…I would suggest, Martyn, that this is a ‘stop digging’ moment. Actually I’m having a go, not just out of my general sadism, but because the mistake you are making is so common – it’s the ‘anecdata’ one again…”

    Er, no. That would be true if I was advancing an analysis, but I wasn’t (if you want me to I shall, but you’ll have to pay me at my freelance rate… :-) ), I was offering counterfigures to Chris’s data and (to my credit) offering sources.

    Regards, Martyn

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    Student ones
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