Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 39%, LDEM 8% and others 14%. A draw between the two main parties, but still consistent with an underlying position of a small Labour lead, which is what the broad sweep of February’s polls suggested.


107 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 39%, LAB 39%, LD 8%”

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  1. SoCalLiberal

    As Amber has pointed out, Lamont didn’t have the authority to suspend Joyce from the Labour Party.

    However, Labour made a great deal of the new Scottish leader being in charge of the whole party in Scotland – including its MPs.

    As you suggest, that would be a practical nonsense for any party covering more than one legislature. Lamont’s non-involvement in the decision and/or inept news management by Labour simply highlights that.

  2. Phil

    In Scotland, we have had public televised debates between the party leaders (and in 2011 between party spokespersons on various issues) since devolution.

    I prefer the latest version, since it requires parties to put their team on display, and not just the party leader.

  3. @ Phil

    “I don’t. We’re plagued here with journalists who see it as their role to shout down and talk over politicians during interviews for no reason other than to foster their own egos or worse. It is largely impossible for politicians to develop any substantive political argument in so called interviews when being constantly talked over and interrupted. Paxman and Humphrys are the worst but not by much. I would far rather listen to a series of developed arguments from different perspectives and then make up my own mind, rather than constantly having these overpaid (by me) egos trying to put words in the mouth of those interviewed. Even “Question Time” on the BBC, where once the politicians alone did the debating, has now been debased by a presenter who sees fit to constantly interrupt contributions to get his own two pennyworth in.

    It was a revelation when we had a genuine debate from the leaders in the 2010 GE, in the style of your own presidential debates, simply because it was so unusual to be able to listen and then make up our own minds rather than being told what to think.”

    Paxman is a major a**hole. I thought it was a classic moment when he started off his interview with a victorious George Galloway with the question “Are you proud of having defeated one of the very few black women in the House of Commons?”

    Anyway, I largely agree with you on your reporters. I’m not saying that a reporter shouldn’t ask tough questions or be firm with a politician. But shouting over someone and being rude is not good journalism.

    That said, I couldn’t imagine any of your parties proposing something absolutely outrageous, getting criticized for it, pretending that their legislation isn’t what it is, and not getting called on it. I’m all for spin. But it’s not spin when you deny what’s in your own damn bill.

    If the Tories proposed bringing back primogeniture in inheritance law or the Lib Dems proposed a criminal punishment of “Use a Gun: Apologize” or Labour proposed shutting down all small businesses who were determined not be “communally beneficial”…..I don’t think any MP who wrote the proposed legislation could go on BBC or Sky or any of the others and say “oh no, I don’t support that” and not get called out.

  4. @ Old Nat

    “As Amber has pointed out, Lamont didn’t have the authority to suspend Joyce from the Labour Party.

    However, Labour made a great deal of the new Scottish leader being in charge of the whole party in Scotland – including its MPs.

    As you suggest, that would be a practical nonsense for any party covering more than one legislature. Lamont’s non-involvement in the decision and/or inept news management by Labour simply highlights that.”

    Yeah and I didn’t get that at all when they made that announcement. What’s the point of it? How can that possibly work? I mean, perhaps it’s the set up you have in the SNP but there are no Scots Nat MPs outside of Scotland. Labour is structured differently. Well anyway, we’ve discussed this topic to death.

    Do you think this is really an issue that resonates with voters? I mean, outside of those hardcore Scots Nats, are Scots really that concerned that Miliband withdrew Joyce’s whip and not Lamont?

  5. SoCalLiberal

    I quite agree. No one really cares who made the announcement. Few ever thought that Lamont was actually in charge of the SLab MPs anyway.

    I just like to point out fictions!

  6. Wow, the U.S. is now a net exporter of oil for the first time since 1949 with record oil production output in the past couple years. How can this be possible?

  7. @ Old Nat

    You will have sources who say that Johann Lamont was, at least, consulted.
    ——————————————-
    I bet you – & maybe Johann Lamont – are the only people in the entire world who care about this…
    8-)

  8. @SoCalLiberal

    I understand your point and I acknowledge the role of an aggressive press in holding the executive and legislature to account. But it does have a side-effect: it’s depressing and it coarsens public debate. About 12-18 months ago I realise I’d started using the phrase “Newsnight debate” to describe an overaggressive unwinnable interview. I remarked upon Paxman’s ludicrously pugilistic interview of Alex Salmond some time ago. Whatever one’s opinion of Scottish independence, surely sixthform innuendo from a balding sneering tw*t is not the best way to go about it.

    Regards, Martyn

  9. @SoCaL

    Wow, the U.S. is now a net exporter of oil for the first time since 1949 with record oil production output in the past couple years. How can this be possible?
    ———————-
    Record oil prices made previously uneconomic, marginal fields financially viable.
    8-)

  10. Surprisingly, since Obama took office, we are now producing an additional 3 and a half million barrels a year. But this isn’t what’s making us a net exporter. We are apparently importing 5 million barrels less a year. Incredible.

    @ Old Nat

    “I quite agree. No one really cares who made the announcement. Few ever thought that Lamont was actually in charge of the SLab MPs anyway.

    I just like to point out fictions!”

    Lol, of course you do.

    Now, I’m breaking my own rule here possibly but I do have to wonder about the Michigan GOP. They changed their rules today post election to award an additional delegate to Mitt Romney. I mean, a lot of the Santorum folks will care and a I suppose this will just further anger the majority of Republican Primary voters who refuse to vote for Romney. I don’t think it makes a big difference as to how normal American voters react.

  11. @ Amber Star

    “Record oil prices made previously uneconomic, marginal fields financially viable.”

    I don’t think that’s it. Because gas prices have gone up and apparently are not that tied to actual supply and demand. According to Senator Bernie Sanders (S-VT), gas prices are being manipulated by speculators and are not tied to actual supply (I tell you that man could make me a Socialist, lol).

    Btw, the proposed bill to give bosses authority to restrict and control their employees’ healthcare based on their personal moral belief (a really BAD attempt to take away contraception from women) failed today. Only ONE Republican Senator, Olympia Snowe (R-ME), voted against this. And she’s retiring. Am I living in another dimension or something?

    If Nadine Dorries proposed taking away free contraception from women at the NHS or proposed allowing free contraception but only if a woman got permission from her male spouse or male boss, would any other Tories vote for that? (I don’t think even think Dorries would go that far, she says she’s pro-choice).

  12. @ Amber Star

    And btw, the forced sonogram bill for women seeking abortions in Virginia was passed and will be signed into law shortly (if it hasn’t already). They did remove the vaginal probe part but I still find the bill atrocious and awful. As you said, it is viscious. It passed their State Senate by one vote. It’s split evenly with 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans. All 20 Republicans voted in favor, all Democrats except for one a**hole (not a rural white Dixiecrat but a NOVA Dem which is shocking and infuriating) voted against.

  13. @ Martyn

    “I understand your point and I acknowledge the role of an aggressive press in holding the executive and legislature to account. But it does have a side-effect: it’s depressing and it coarsens public debate. About 12-18 months ago I realise I’d started using the phrase “Newsnight debate” to describe an overaggressive unwinnable interview. I remarked upon Paxman’s ludicrously pugilistic interview of Alex Salmond some time ago. Whatever one’s opinion of Scottish independence, surely sixthform innuendo from a balding sneering tw*t is not the best way to go about it.”

    That’s true. I noticed how all the Scots Nats here were very happy with the Canadian Election Results last year simply because they hated Michael Ignatieff from his days as a reporter in Britain and his condescending attitude towards Scottish independence. I don’t think Paxman is planning to seek elected office.

    On your visits here, did you (in addition to the Maury Show) ever catch the show Crossfire? It was a CNN program where partisans would shout back and forth at each other. It was Tucker Carlson and Bob Novak for the GOP and James Carville and Paul Begala for the Democrats (though Bill Press was on originally). They’d spend 30 minutes shouting at each other and repeating partisan talking points. It was almost as bad as a PMQs session though not nearly as entertaining.

    Jon Stewart is singlehandedly responsible for bringing down this program. He went on the show, got in a heated argument with Tucker Carlson who was harshly criticizing him and called him a “dick” which resulted in huge audience applause. After that, people seemed to stop watching the show and CNN cancelled it shortly thereafter.

  14. I haven’t seen Richard in Norway on here in a while but I think he would greatly enjoy this article.

    http://theweek.com/article/index/225046/why-is-wall-street-full-of-psychopaths

    I wonder if Fleet Streeters are similar.

  15. For anyone interested in the state of play in the Romney Santorum fight – follow the link for a very good piece of analysis from our US Psephologist:
    http://www.allthatsleft.co.uk/2012/03/romney-pulls-ahead-but-a-long-way-to-go/

  16. SOCAL

    @”“Record oil prices made previously uneconomic, marginal fields financially viable.”
    I don’t think that’s it”

    It isn’t :-

    :Gasoline demand in the U.S. sank 2.9 percent to 8.736 million barrels a day last year as pump prices averaged $3.521 a gallon, the highest in records dating back to 1919.
    Total U.S. oil product demand fell 9.5 percent to 18.8 million barrels a day last year from 20.8 million in 2005, department data show.
    “The reason we can export so much is demand in the U.S. is weak,” Cohan said. Since 2005, the U.S. has lost nearly 2 million barrels a day of total product consumption, he said.”

    Bloomberg

    But the rest of the world is increasing it’s consumption.

    Extraordinary-huge geo-political implications too.

  17. @COLIN
    I have noted on trips to California, the vast majority of new or newish cars are very sensible European sized motors,
    irrespective of where they were built. The only gas drinkers are 4×4 monstrosities or old bangers that will soon be dead.

  18. Notice this morning that BBC are quoting David Cameron as saying he’s annoyed that the EU are ignoring his proposals for growth.

    That’s the price you pay for poor diplomacy and gesture politics by wielding a veto that doesn’t get you anything and leaves you isolated. Pity because actually some of the proposals are good and would be worth enacting.

    I wonder (although I doubt) whether there would be an affect on VI when the negative consequences of a veto begin to stack up. I think in the end the “two fingers to Europe” approach will always play well with the public whatever the actual consequences.

  19. ADRIANB

    @”leaves you isolated.”

    Don’t think that is a correct reading of the events.

    The proposals you refer to were set out in a letter signed by 12 EU countries, including UK, Italy , Spain and the free market liberal bloc of Nordic, Baltic and East European states.

    Van Rompuy ignored their plea for opening up the single market by de-regulation & competition, in favour of a Franco German concentration on fiscal consolidation as the essential condition of higher growth and employment.

    After Cameron’s intervention, Dutch, Finnish and Italian leaders also criticised Mr Van Rompuy for ignoring any ideas not emanating from Berlin or Paris..

    I think this is the very opposite of isolation-it is leading a group constituting nearly half of EU membership in a push to free up EU’s inflexible labour laws & protectionist sector cartels.

    …just the sort of thing being adopted nationally -in extremis-by the technocratic administrations in Greece & Italy, and the new Conservative government in Spain.

  20. “Joined notably by the leaders of Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland, conservative Cameron co-signed a letter to EU president Herman Van Rompuy calling for a new focus on trade with the United States, Russia and China.
    The letter was also signed by Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Sweden.”

    AFP

  21. That USA “net oil exporter” story is not as simple as it looks-and misleading too.

    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Gas-Prices/Bill-OReillys-Confused-Approach-to-Solving-High-Gas-Prices.html

  22. The problem with our celebrity interviewers is that they have quite consciously changed from what their role SHOULD be (facilitators of rational and informative debate) to interrogators aiming to belittle politicians, force mistakes and shape the headlines. Of course politicians should be held to account, but they also deserve (and civic society needs) them to have space to engage in intelligent debate. Paxman and the like are very much part of the coarsening of public debate and the consequence is that we end up with politicians who are terrified of doing anything other than trotting out anodyne, content free, safe lines.

    It is deeply saddening that in such an era, we don’t have politicians who are capable of handling that aggressive style in kind, putting the interviewers on the back foot whilst still being able to forge an intellectually consistent argument. Instead, we have thinkers who come across as weak in argument (Miliband, Willets) battlers who come across as intellectually weak (Prescott comes to mind) and smooth, sure footed PR men (two of our last 3 PMs being classic examples). Oh for a Churchill, a Bevan, a Healy, a Crossland, a Callaghan, a Benn, a Thatcher or a Tebbit. Politicians with the gravitas, confidence and intellect to put the interviewers in their place and a strong intellectual argument to put forward.

  23. @leftylampton

    Very eloquently put, I totally agree with your last post. It is one of the problems of modern times that proper debate is stifled.

  24. @SoCalLiberal – “Conservative crossover votes to the Lib Dems won’t help the Lib Dems fend off Labour.”

    To answer the question you asked – I can’t see the evidence that Con, with the help of LD crossover votes, is in a position to pick off any marginal Labour seats atm.

    Ashcroft’s polling of marginals in Sept last year looked specifically at Con seats captured from Labour at the last election (by a margin of 5% or less):

    Labour had an 8-point lead: Lab 44%, Con 36%, LD 7%.
    After asking the “thinking about your constituency” question, the position was Lab 44%, Con 35%, LD 12%… with LDs seeming to pick up points from Others.

  25. @Colin

    Correct. Whatever one thinks of the EU, the patient building of alliances and attempt to refocus on emerging markets is something that badly needs doing regardless. Even before the election, Cameron showed himself willing to put in the grinding legwork necessary to do this. Although we have a Eurosceptic press eager to seize on this as another defeat by La Belgique Perfide, this is an oddly positive story demonstrating that the UK is trying to rebuild the foreign relation muscle necessary to get things done.

    @SoCalLib

    No I didn’t catch the show, although I was aware of the Jon Stewart thing, oddly enough.

    @LeftyLampton

    Amen.

    Regards, Martyn

  26. @SoCal

    Does “Due Process” apply beyond direct state actors over here?

    That’s actually a hazy area right now, but it seems from rulings about “Quasi-Judicial procedures” from the European Court of Human Rights, that yes it does. I would suspect this is why Companies aren’t so keen to try the “independent arbitration” contract restrictions on liability, because all sorts of protections still appear to apply.

  27. How interesting (and unsurprising) it is to hear allegations at the Leveson inquiry that the Blair government colluded with the police in a cover up of the hacking scandal in order to protect Murdoch pere et fils.

    I look forward to Ed Miliband’s excoriating condemnation of of present and former cabinet colleagues.

  28. MARTYN

    Thanks.

    It all seems to have descended into posturing sadly :-

    “”Today in Brussels .. we have made our voice heard. The communique has been fundamentally rewritten in line with our demands,” said Cameron.
    But he found himself in the sights of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who criticised the “deregulating and liberal” British agenda.
    “90 percent of the topics laid out in the letter” were acceptable to France and Germany, said Sarkozy.
    “There were 10 or 15 percent that I judged impossible … it’s always the 15 percent that makes the difference,” he added.
    EU president Herman Van Rompuy also rejected some of the British proposals, which focused on improving the functioning of the European single market.
    “The internal market is not the only way to boost growth and jobs,” said Van Rompuy.”

    Expatica Fr.

    What I find interesting about Sarkozy’s remarks is the reminder that, just as US Democrats are not to be equated with UK Labour, French ( and German ?_ ) centre right is not the same thing as UK Conservative.

    The theme of a despicable , Anglo Saxon model of unregulated, free trade crops up time & time again with Sarkozy.

    There is definitely a Statist model for EU will perhaps never concede to the sort of ideas DC espouses.

  29. sergio

    The briefing to John Reid will be interesting, if disclosed. I look forward to the explanation over why Prescott was never briefed when Jowell and Blunket were, too.

    Like you, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they were all too scared to rattle Murdoch’s cage.

  30. ‘The theme of a despicable , Anglo Saxon model of unregulated, free trade crops up time & time again with Sarkozy.’

    Of course he may be right. When one considers the appalling way the bankers got us all in this mess with basically unregulated free trade than I see that mainland suspicion of UK lack of common sense is pretty good.

  31. Surely if we have proved one thing, it is that unregulated free trade is a very bad idea indeed?

  32. Mind you if the police briefing to Reid was along the lines of Yates’s review of the case, it is hardly surprising:

    Where there was clear evidence that people had been the subject of tapping, they were all contacted by the police.
    This case has been the subject of the most careful investigation by very experienced detectives … no additional evidence has come to light since this case has concluded.
    I therefore consider that no further investigation is required.

  33. @Jack

    Ordinary people taking on loans and mortgages they could not affford got us into this trouble politicians and bankers just fascilitated their stupidity.

  34. Now that I’ve returned from my invigorating stay in Copenhagen, enjoying the social democratic paradise being created there by Helle Thorning-Schmidt and her highly popular government (where minus 24 approval ratings are things that bedevil other benighted countries!), I am ready to re-enter the UKPR fray and to entertain and educate my expanding and expectant readership.

    I will start what may well become a torrent of wisdom over the coming weeks, with a little observation on the current state of the polls. Much discussion has taken place over the discrepancies between various pollsters, with many of those, who are seemingly unsettled by seeing some polling organisations showing 4-6% Labour leads, arguing that YouGov is now the gold standard because their daily polling detects much more accurately the current volatile mood as opposed to those who conduct infrequent snapshot polls and only gauge opinion on an isolated and atypical day. As one our many sages on this site might say, can I offer a little gentle hmmm about that. Let me explain why.

    The YouGov holy grail theory would hold more water if, at the time that their polls coincided with the periodic polls from other pollsters, the results were very similar. So I had a look to see if this was true and it provided very interesting reading. At the time that Ipsos/Mori were doing their fieldwork for their latest poll showing a Labour lead of 6% (27th February), YouGov had a poll, doing their fieldwork on the same day, showing a 1% Tory lead. Shouldn’t we have expected a much closer correlation if the only the explanation was MOE variation? Similarly, when Opinium conducted the fieldwork for their poll that showed a Labour lead of 4% (21-23 February), YouGov conducted two polls straddling the same period. These showed a Labour lead of 2% and a Tory lead of 1%. A little closer but still a large divergence between the findings.

    Now, we’ve already had a great deal of discussion on methodology differences and how daily tracker polls are much more reliable than periodic snapshots, but we’re now getting quite a few occasions where two polling organisations can’t conceivably both be right. Put simply, one must be more accurate than the other and explanations based on the argument that any poll showing a 4-6% Labour lead must be the “top end of MOE”, can only be sustained if you adhere to the view that the YouGov polls provide an unarguable benchmark. How many more periodic polls must there be that are significantly different to the YouGov pattern before we wonder about YouGov’s accuracy rather than the others?

    Just a thought.

  35. I suspect that Labour are in the lead and that lead is growing. Sooner or later that is what Yougov will show.

    Or it could be that,

    um

    maybe

    (I’m wrong)

    nah

  36. Cameron seems to have hit a bit of bad luck with a horse…It doesn`t bother me…What does bother me is initially Downing street denied it,then said he `may have done`,then `probably did`,then at a press conference Cameron forced to admit that he did ride it.

    For one thing,this symbolises the lack of transparency in this government.

  37. Great line by Harriet:

    “”People will be dismayed that while News International was busy hacking phones, David Cameron was out hacking with Rebekah Brooks’s husband.”

  38. Smukesh
    There’s a simple explanation…DC doesn’t do detail.

  39. @BillyBob,

    True. The problem for Labour on current polling is that many if not all of the gains made on marginals (compared to UNS) would be wiped out by significant losses to the SNP in Scotland. The big questions is will Labour continue to underperform in Scotland?? I suspect they will pick up by 2015, but I guess for now we can only go by current polls.

  40. There has undoubtedly been a recent trend towards a Labour lead of 2 or 3%. I think this is largely down to the poor economic news filtering through from the 4th quarter of 2011, as well as the unpopularity of the NHS reforms.

    The big question is can Labour continue this trend and open up a decent lead again, or did the Tories hit rock-bottom during the summer of last year?

  41. JACK

    @”Of course he may be right. ”

    For a French politician , Free Trade means competitive trade, which means French companies/ nationalised industries may lose out.

    The opposite of Free Trade in France is not so much Regulated Trade, as Protectionist Trade.

  42. SMUKESH

    @”Cameron seems to have hit a bit of bad luck with a horse”

    It’s a version of “the dog that didn’t bark”…….”the horse that didn’t neigh”

    :-)

  43. @Phil

    You’re point about not taking in account the lowest is moot since I already have (I don’t think it’s level pegging, so that already eliminates the lowest we’ve seen). I’ve stated I believe the Lab lead to be around 1.5 to 2% which would mean taking in account some of the lower Lab leads (ICM, YouGov Populus) to the more medium Lab leads (3, ComRes). The one’s I’ve discounted are level pegging, 1 point Tory leads, and the higher Lab leads for 4 -6 points. As for ComRes; so far I’ve only heard of your suspicions, there has been a metholodgy change. I haven’t heard that from ComRes themselves.

    And on to your latter point, I don’t believe opinion is concrete, that’s your characterisation of my views. It’s just that unlike much of the Labour herd here, I’m not automatically inclined to go ”growing lead” as soon as a 6/4 poll appears. I don’t believe opinion polling has moved signifcantly, that’s been my position for months, if you had read my posts correctly – indeed I observed sometime ago I believed Lab had gained a 1 point and the Tories had dropped one. In a month opinion can shift – that’s doesn’t mean however techincals like sample variation can’t get in the way of slightly skewering things.

    Your main complaint seems to be that YouGov’s polls chop and change but I expect that is the nature of daily polling – I’d expect that would be the same if all pollsters did daily polling. Also, I don’t state any new movement is wrong. If I did, I would have condemned Mori as soon as they came out. I didn’t – I waited two days to see more recent polling.

    @Crossbat

    You really ought to address me, rather than sounding off on your own views. Firstly, I think you ought to illustrate more maturity than trying to depict me as some worried old soul because of poll. As someone who is young, and has a busy life I have much more things on my mind than worrying about polls. I come to give my opinion, like you and others’ do. The fact you seem almost inclined to dismiss anything I say in long essays may suggest you are slightly unsettled at the prospect of another viewpoint existing.

    First of all, I dropped the ICM gold standard thing, and the idea of a gold standard a long time ago, after Anthony giving me a telling off on the matter (I think it was December). I don’t believe YouGov are the ”gold standard” they are one of the polling companies I go by because they are the only polling company doing daily polling. On your reply, you haven’t really addressed the main point I made which is the daily polling’s advantages is the ability to spot the trends and the outilers. Currently, instead you simply asserted a fallacious ”what if” theory. Since we can’t assess alternate projections I’d call it a non sequitr.

    As for expecting much closer correlation – no I don’t think so. Sample variation is sample variation – that’s why instead of lookingat one poll, we look at trends. I don’t see why one sample can show one thing while another can show something completely different. If you disagree, do you care to explain? The argument of 4-6 being top end MOE can be adhered to wherther yoh believe YouGov provide a brenchmark or not.

    ICM, Populus, and ComRes have both shown figures so far roughly in the region of the daily polling average shown by YouGov – that would make a majority of pollsters indicating a Lab lead or so under the top end of MOE 4/6 that only two pollsters so far have shown.

  44. Steve Hilton has resigned. More problems for Cameron.

    http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2012/03/02/downing-street-loses-hilton

  45. I notice that their are suggestions in the press that Labour may have been involved in a cover up over the phone hacking scandal, following the revelation at Laverson that Assistant Commissioner Clarke gave a report of their findings to Reid in 2006. Leverson has immediately called for the report to be produced to the enquiry.
    I wonder if after all Miliband’s fun with hacking this could turn out to be a case of ‘he who laughs last’ etc.

  46. I’ll be out of the country for the next few days or so, so I may not be able to the reply to repilies if they are there. Chao.

  47. @Crossbat; I’ll be spending a week near Copenhagen in the summer. Busy trying to prove dansk.

  48. BooBoo – Phil got the information about ComRes changing their methodology from me, and I got it from Andrew Hawkins, the CEO of ComRes, so rest assured he is correct!

  49. @LizH
    He’s taking a year’s unpaid leave rather than resigning.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/mar/02/david-cameron-steve-hilton-unpaid-leave?newsfeed=true

  50. Anthony Wells –

    Ok, point taken.

    @Phil. I can take ComRes out of the equation then if you want, but we still have majority of pollsters showing 1-2 Lab leads (YouGov, ICM, Populus) even then.

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