Tonight’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll has topline figures of CON 38%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10% – very much in line with the average Labour lead of around about 1 point that YouGov have been showing in recent weeks. As usual, I’ll do a proper update tomorrow morning once the tables appear.


50 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 38%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%”

  1. I was expecting Labour to increase a little and the Tories to dip a bit.

    Recent polling must be the most stable for quite some time. People don’t seem to react to negative media coverage, as they once did.

  2. Neck and neck neo-polldrums!

  3. well not quite as good as mystic meg but it will do.

  4. Third …? OK, I can deal with that.

    I’m not surprised Con have not dipped much. Most of the bad news until about yesterday was about the NHS, and as AW pointed out, Con were already largely mistrusted, so did not as far to fall as many imagine. However, I think that now there may be a hardening of the ceiling above which Con cannot go.

  5. So much seems to be going wrong for this government. The NHS, the work and welfare projects, the Academies, A4e etc. It makes you wonder what it will take for the message coming out of Westminster, that not much is going right, to reach those that are asked to respond to the surveys.

  6. I think thats because of the quality of the opposition!

  7. CROSSBAT11

    ” it does seem to be a remarkably civilised and well ordered country!”

    Don’t be silly. It’s the size of Scotland, with far fewer resources. how could it be?

  8. health reforms have been thrown into deeper crisis as a new poll reveals that nine out of ten members of the Royal College of Physicians – hospital doctors – want the NHS shake-up to be scrapped.

    The findings, showing that 92.5% of RCP members want the health and social care bill withdrawn, have been passed to the Observer as the college prepares for an extraordinary general meeting on the reforms on Monday.
    ———————————-
    Another organisation which attended the Downing Street ‘Health Summit’ has found its members are overwhelmingly against the Bill.
    8-)

  9. Amber Star – these organizations don’t represent all their members,
    because there are quite a lot of NHS people who are putting in plans to implement the changes and want to get on with having more control.

    Moreover,
    the patient satisfaction surveys probably don’t interview the elderly people who have been abused or neglected in NHS wards.

    There are political dangers for the Government in this, if they can’t simplify their proposals, and make the case for them clearly,
    but I’m not sure the public is buying the line that Labour (and perhaps the LDs) want them to – that there is nothing whatsoever that can be improved in the health service, and every single person in it is doing everything right all the time.

  10. @JJB (1.55)

    “but I’m not sure the public is buying the line that Labour (and perhaps the LDs) want them to – that there is nothing whatsoever that can be improved in the health service, and every single person in it is doing everything right all the time.”

    ———————————————————————

    Who is even suggesting that everything is OK in the NHS. Certainly not Lab or LDs. Both agree that reform is necessary but not the top down reform together with privatisation that Lansley is suggesting. You are following the same line that many Tories are using and it is patently untrue.

    THERE IS A HUGE AMOUNT OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DISAGREEING WITH ALL REFORM CF. DISAGREEING WITH THE REFORM THAT LANSLEY IS PROPOSING IN HIS BILL (EVEN AFTER THE REVISIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN PASSED BYTHE LORDS)

  11. Peter Bell,

    “Who is even suggesting that everything is OK in the NHS. Certainly not Lab or LDs.”

    Which is rather a problem for all parties, because I suspect that over 70% of the population believe that the NHS should remain exactly as it is and would probably prefer going back to about 1949. Labour and the LDs are WELL to the right of the public on the NHS, I would imagine. However, as long as there is a party to the right of them, Labour can be the lesser of three evils to the public.

    In fact, that would make an interesting series of polling questions: “Do you believe that the NHS should be reformed at all?” and “Do you believe that the NHS should be restored to its original state?” Like I say, I imagine you’d get a big majority for “yes” in both cases.

  12. Good Morning Everyone.

    And they were singing
    Hymns and Arias,
    Land of My Fathers
    Ar Hyd y nos

    Have a good day

  13. Poll finds 59% support for workfare scheme vs 34% opposition, 61% support for compulsory unpaid work vs 32% opposition and 52% believing it to be a positive thing for companies to do vs 34% believing it ammounts to exploitation.

  14. @Peter Bell

    The Government has shown great courage in attempting to reform the NHS, and it certainly does need reform. The vested interests in the NHS will always oppose reform so they can be discounted. The Lansley reforms in the original format seemed to me to be a good attempt, but they have been ruined by the changes forced in the Lords. Still the Government should press ahead and get the bill passed. It can then be improved later, during a second term which seems likely, as we see the early signs that the ecomomic stategy is coming good. However unfortunately even the original reforms do not address the central problem, that a truly effective NHS free at source is not viable in the long term. Some day, and sooner rather than later we are going to have to move to an insurance funded system backed up by Government help for those who are unable to afford insurance.

  15. The Other Howard

    You wrote a paragraph full of froth and no substance

    A simple question – why is a Health Service free at source not viable?

    Surely if it is not funded by tax payers then it will be funded by insurance paid bye tax payers (including profit). The amounts to be spent on care will surely be the same?

    You will then try and say that the private sector is more efficient than the public sector- something I am not convinced about (see the US as an example)

    I know what living in a fully insured health service is like and it is not all that it is made out to be – especially for the poor. The insurance costs rise 10% pa and most people have to have a high franchise level in order to afford monthly premiums. I also know of people being turned down or being given restricted insurance based on existing conditions

  16. @The Other Howard

    International comparisons show the NHS is a cheaper system of health care than insurance-based alternatives. It also has the advantage of being comprehensive.

    I don’t see any justification for your point of view and I would be surprised if any polls agree with you either.

  17. @bazsc

    I could be rude about your post but I have better manners.

    I have plenty experience of both the NHS and private health care especially in the last few years. There is no comparison, my private treatment has been world class, my NHS treatment has been of very variable quality most of it poor.

  18. “Some day, and sooner rather than later we are going to have to move to an insurance funded system backed up by Government help for those who are unable to afford insurance.”
    ————————–
    Indeed, and no doubt this is the real purpose of the Backdoor Privatisation Bill, which would not be possible without the support of LidDems. On the latest polling figures we can at least look forward to 42 of their 57 members joining the Workfare scheme – and I don’t think this includes BUPA cover.

  19. My (and my family’s) NHS care has been great. Absolutely flawless. No reason to change a thing.

  20. My experience of the NHS in recent years have been non-existent, therefore I shall assume that the NHS does not exist.

    Remember folks: the plural of “ancedote” is not “evidence”.

  21. The Other Howard

    aaah there we go anecdote!

    I could say the opposite – my experience of private health care, appalling and expensive (physic on a dodgy knee), whereas a coronary by-pass in the NHS was perfectly done. Private don’t do these expensive treatments in general though do they!

    I take the fact that in polls 75% say that they are happy with the NHS to be a stronger advocate than your anecdote

    I have also a large amount of experience of a fully insured private health system and how it only works for the rush.

    Have you the same experience of a system that you propose?

    Can you guess the country?

  22. autocorrect!!!!!!….rush should read rich

  23. Bazsc,

    If the Other Howard is advocating an insurance system approach, that doesn’t have to be fully private. Singapore, for instance, has a good reputation and they work primarily through a government insurance system. The fact that they have an insurance system, rather than a national sickness system, means that people are rewarded for minimal use of healthcare, while providing a subsidy to keep the poor insured.

    Britain seems to be unique, as far as I know, in being a country that has never experienced communism and yet still has a huge political constituency in favour of state provision (as opposed to insurance) in healthcare. On the other hand, our National Insurance system is many things, but it isn’t an insurance system.

  24. @ bazsc and others.

    I knew I was wasting my time posting. It is blindingly obvious that change will come you just cannot face up to it. Long term the NHS funding is unsustainably, it’s a bottomless pit but the public will stick it’s head in the sand until the NHS collapses.

  25. I have a question to whjich I genuinely don’t know the answer but I suspect there is still a gap?
    What %agre of GDP are we spending on healthcare, NHS + private premiums?
    Also what is the amount spent in Northern European countries, Germany/Nd, Nordic region?

    TOH – As I have posted before the hospital NHS sector is inefficient and needs shaking up no doubt.

    As to the affordability point, I wonder if this is more about our choice as a society?

  26. @TheOtherHoward
    “but the public will stick it’s head in the sand until the NHS collapses.”
    ———————————-
    Millions of voters & satisfied NHS users will perhaps be a tad disappointed that they are outvoted by your solitary voice and out-gunned by your supreme wisdom.

  27. Here is the data in health spending, from the OECD. The UK spends a lower % of GDP than France, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, USA etc.

    http://www.oecd.org/document/16/0,3746,en_2649_33929_2085200_1_1_1_1,00.html

  28. @Jim Jam;

    The UK spends 8.4% of GDP on healthcare (both private and public), the second lowest of any developed country (Japan spends marginally less).

    Of our total healthcare spending, 81.3% is met by the government, which is the fourth highest of any developed country (behind Norway, Denmark and Sweden).

  29. ‘The Other Howard – “… it’s a bottomless pit”

    Comparing the US to the UK, it spends 15.3% of GDP on health to our 8.4% (we have a marginally higher life expectancy).

    Total (private + public) spend per head (dollars)
    US 6,714
    Uk 2,784

    The private health industry want *two* bottomless pits.

    Government (tax dollars) per head spend on health
    US 3,074
    UK 2,434

  30. Thanks all,
    As I suspected, if we so chose as a society we are a long way from the bottom of the pit.
    To me though, this is kind of irrelevant to the NHS reform debate but does tackle the ‘we have to do this to save the NHS’ false argument.
    Everyone would agree I am sure that the Government as guardians of our money are obliged to spend the money as effieciently as possible; we could have got more for our spend in the growth years I am sure or used the money in other areas or raised less tax, whatever but being more efficient should not depend on how tight public spending is.

  31. @The Other Howard:

    “Some day, and sooner rather than later we are going to have to move to an insurance funded system backed up by Government help for those who are unable to afford insurance.”

    Lol! Not only have you failed to explain why the NHS isn’t viable and which aspects needs reform and why, other than a quasi-religious belief in the power of the private sector and the free market, you’ve picked the single most inefficient, unequal and ineffective system known to man as your ideal replacement.

    Even a social insurance model (which isn’t what you are suggesting- given that your statement implies that most people would be self funding insurance) would be more expensive for what it would provide, due to additional administrative costs. It would have some advantages in that it would be entitlement based i.e. insurers would have to fund listed services, rather than fixed budget, with the people running the service controlling the budget, which incentivises sub-standard services as a means of cost control. However we’d have to accept that it would cost more.

    A more cost effective way to guarantee quality, and the reform we really need, is to separate the day to day running of the NHS from national politics, perhaps by local elections to health boards, with patients and staffs votes having extra weight, and have a statutory mandate for certain services to be provided (NICE would be a good starting point for this), and minimum standards for staff:patient ratios and infrastructure. This would be funded through either national insurance or a ring fenced income tax that would have to expand to cover costs.

  32. “I knew I was wasting my time posting. It is blindingly obvious that change will come you just cannot face up to it.”

    *Can’t back up own argument* *flounces*

    “…it’s a bottomless pit.”

    I’ve said this before but every single developed country has a problem with containing rising health-care costs. This has absolutely nothing to do with the way healthcare is funded (although the NHS does much better than most at controlling costs) and everything to do with expanding technology, rising life expectancies and the essentially moving target of healthcare outcomes.

  33. @Hannah and others.

    I know I am a voice in the wilderness but you are so wrong on every point you raise. Your last point is a real nightmare I cannot think of anything worse.

    I have made my point and time will prove me right.

    Off now better things to do.

  34. Lord Oakenshott on Andrew Neil’s programme on the Beeb earlier, said that if the Cons voted agains Clegg’s proposals on Lord’s reform (300 elected under STV), the LDs would vote down the boundary changes/ reduction in the size of the Commons.

  35. Labour do give the impression that they think almost literally nothing needs to be changed in the NHS – by shouting down anyone who even dares suggest it.

    Jacqui Smith has been appearing on Andrew Neil’s programs, and on paper reviews on Sky, and was fair enough to acknowledge this point, and said there are dangers for the opposition in this aswell.

  36. Sorry, TOH, but they got you cold. If the NHS is a ‘bottomless pit’ but we spend less on it that many other countries, then essentially all healthcare is a waste of money across much of the developed world.

    Your anecdotes don’t trump the data. Your assertions mean less if they contradict the facts.

  37. As for Lord Oakeshott, he’s hardly in a position to talk about coalition agreements – I think I’m correct in saying the Liberal Democrats themselves basically agreed he wasn’t in tune with Coalition agreements on Treasury policy last year when he had to step down from the front bench in the Lords.

  38. @ RAF

    …if the Cons voted agains Clegg’s proposals on Lord’s reform (300 elected under STV), the LDs would vote down the boundary changes/ reduction in the size of the Commons.
    ——————————-
    Ozwald, Billy Bob & I were speculating about this on the previous thread because there had been a Spectator article basically saying the LibDems were considering this.
    8-)

  39. JJB “Amber Star – these organizations don’t represent all their members, because there are quite a lot of NHS people who are putting in plans to implement the changes and want to get on with having more control.

    Moreover, the patient satisfaction surveys probably don’t interview the elderly people who have been abused or neglected in NHS wards.”

    Firstly, the RCP survey was of it’s members, not of the leadership.

    Secondly, some people in the NHS are working towards tha changes. But that doesn’t imply support per se. It just means that they are doing as they are told. Some, of course, do support it – largely GPs who want to make money out of CCGs.

    Thirdly, the fact that the changes are being made before the Bill is passed is not a good thing – it seems to fly in the face of parliamantary democracy.

    Lastly, the surveys of NHS patients cover a large number of people. So yes, it will include them. I’d still take the NHS of today over that of 1997 any day – they neglected everyone then, because they didn’t have the resources.

  40. YG Poll for today shows for the NHS reforms:

    19% support the bill
    50% want it dropped
    31% haven’t decided

    8-)

  41. I do find it a bit annoying the way people won’t take any objective criticism of the NHS.
    Yes, it has some of the best health care in the world, and many positives. It can also negotiate bulk lower costs on drug prices.
    But it falls down on other areas too.
    My Dad went to an NHS dentist where they filled the top and the bottom teeth together, for example.

    Thanks for other points – will come back later.

  42. JJB

    Actually it is the pro-marketisation supporters who come up always with anecdotal evidence and then use it it to say it is in chaos and say the NHS is a bottomless pit etc.

    Like all big organizations the NHS has to adapt and none denies that – why this adapting always has to include the enriching of the private sector though is not always obvious

    Also, I do not think that Labour oppose change – Burnham has offered to discuss options if the bill is dropped and anyway you can hardly say that the 97-10 years did not lead to massive changes to the WoW of the NHS – including actually putting a respectable amount of GDP into the service.

    TOH I am afraid you have not attempted to set out any vision for what the changes should be, supporting the current bill but also wanting some, undefined insurance scheme. When we do not bow down to your wisdom you flounce off in a sulk (as said the data seems to contradict your anecdotes and assertions)

  43. bazsc

    The childish reply by sombody who knows the argument is lost. As I say time will show i am right.

  44. The Other Howard

    “As I say time will show i am right.”

    When does self confidence stray into arrogance, I wonder?

    Just a thought.

  45. crossbat11

    Another thought.

    Those who hold a correct minority view are often called arrogant but it never bothers them.

    Cheers.

  46. @Raf – “if the Cons voted against Lord’s reform… the LDs would vote down the boundary changes.”

    I remember when the implications of the boundary changes first became known, Michael White rather airily (as is his wont), dismissed the whole subject saying they (like banking reform) would be kicked into touch until after the next election.

    You would think that if Lords reform or the boundary changes threatened to scupper the coalition, then they would be quietly shelved for the time being. How it works in practice, only time will tell.

  47. The vested interests in the NHS will always oppose reform so they can be discounted.

    my private treatment has been world class, my NHS treatment has been of very variable quality most of it poor.

    The childish reply by sombody who knows the argument is lost. As I say time will show i am right.

    ——————————————————–

    You make these statements; accuse others of being childish when they have the temerity to disagree with you;, and then pick up your bat and ball, and go off in a huff? 8-)

    c

  48. Having descending into personal insults I think we should draw the line under this discussion that I should probably have drawn last night!

  49. I don’t think the discussion/argument on here was too bad – it was quite a useful exchange of views on both sides.