Tonight’s polls

The weekend after the budget often sees several polls. Tonight I am expecting at least three: the weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times, an ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph and a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday. I’ll update as they come in…

UPDATE: The ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph has topline figures, with changes from their poll for the Guardian just before the budget, of CON 37%(-2), LAB 38% (+2), LDEM 13%(-2). It shows a slight shift towards Labour since the budget, though the one point Labour lead is smaller than some others we’ve seen of late for methodological reasons that we’ve discussed here before.

The other questions in the ICM poll showed the same patterns of popular and unpopular measures as in the YouGov/Sun poll after the budget: majorities were in favour of the increase in the personal allowance, to stamp duty and the cut in corportation tax. 63% opposed the abolition of the age-related tax allowance and 56% opposed cutting the top rate of tax to 45p.

UPDATE2: YouGov for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%. This follows on from an eight point lead in YouGov’s Wed-Thurs poll for the Sun, so adds further weight to the evidence that the budget has produced a shift towards Labour.

UPDATE3: And finally, the Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday has topline figures, with changes from December of CON 31%(-4), LAB 39%(+4), LD 11%(-3), Others 19% (the high others is due to Survation prompting for UKIP in their main voting intenton question, consequently putting them at 8 points).

326 Responses to “Tonight’s polls”

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  1. From Politics Home;

    “The Prime Minister told Sky News this morning: “What happened is completely unacceptable. This is not the way that we raise money in the Conservative Party – it shouldn’t have happened,….”

    The trouble is, this is exactly how the Tories raise money, and they have been doing so for years under Cameron. As Peter Cruddas said on tape, pay £50,000 a year and you get to join the Leader’s Group and have a series of dinners and functions with the PM.

    That is paying money for direct access to a serving Prime Minister. In my view, a totally and completely unacceptable way to buy influence and distort democracy.

    And I hope no one accuses me of jumping on bandwagons on this – I was saying this in 2007 and predicted it would get Cameron into serious hot water.

  2. Wonder how much it would cost to have sunday lunch at No.10 or Chequers ?

    It would probably be cheaper to book a table at The Ivy every week.

    I am sure that all parties have been doing this for years and when they get caught there is a resignation, followed by the PM or other politician saying it is unacceptable. Under Labour I seem to remember Lord Levy having problems while raising money for the party.

  3. @R Huckle – while I don’t give Labour a completely clean bill of health on this, I really can’t agree with your bald assumption that all parties do this. Brown for one was really pretty scrupulous about these things, and all credit to him on this score at least.

    Cameron has long had a problem in the making over his contacts and funding from wealthy business people, from the Midlands Industrial Council to the Leaders Club. It’s been a great gaping blind spot of his, and was one of the main reasons I completely failed to buy into his shallow campaigning over MPs expenses.

    I suspect that this will rumble on now throughout his premiership. Where we have policy initiatives tied into big business, such as media policy and private sector driven school and NHS reforms, we’re going to see an increasingly sceptical public see more and more detail about who ministers are talking to and how this is affecting policy.

    I suspect that in the long run this is a bigger story than Cameron knows.

  4. Any ideas what the Conservatives will do to try to stop the media storm which will now no doubt erupt about the cash-for-Cameron scandal?
    The promise of a referendum on Europe perhaps? The veto-that-never-was seemed popular at the time.
    A new crackdown on immigration?
    A flood of stories of scroungers still claiming too much benefit?
    How about a few stories about union funding to Miliband?

  5. Anthony — when you get a minute, would you update the UKPR polling average. Thankyou very much

  6. @ Alec

    I was trying to be politically neutral to reflect the sites non partisan policy.

    I am in favour of state funding of parties, as a top up to membership subs received and a cap on the amount parties are able to spend.

    I don’t like donations of any kind, which appear to be made for the wrong reasons. When you get people bidding £10k for dinner with a politician at a party fundraiser, you wonder whether this may be sleazy. Yes they may be a loyal member of the party concerned, but what if it is revealed later that they are a director of a company who had won a government contract. It is not whether the donation led to the contract being awarded, but how this appears to people. This is Harriet Harmans famous smell test.

  7. Alec

    “That is paying money for direct access to a serving Prime Minister. In my view, a totally and completely unacceptable way to buy influence and distort democracy. ”

    I think that it was a different matter for Cameron to do this in opposition. It is fair enough to seek as many views and ideas from the movers and shakers in business. It is not acceptable when you are able to make policy and use tax-payers money. I read about this a few years ago and thought it was a potential problem then. You can bet that all of the press will be looking into this now.

  8. alec

    “…anyone with half a brain could see …”


    I remember a conversation with a Procurator Fiscal in which I commented on the stupidity and incompetence
    of some criminals who attempted to defraud my employer. He rightly pointed out that without stupid and incompetent criminals he would be out of a job.

    Why do such people get overpromoted to top positions in politics and government and paid huge sums?

    Why do we accept numpties at their own evaluation of their self-worth?

    A Northern Rock shareholder told the board ” You were paid as supermen and you very clearly weren’t”

    Nearly all of us are just of average intelligence and skill at what we do, and there arn’t enough of the others to fill all the positions where people imagine they are supermen.

    There are no more of them than those who need help with daily living tasks.

    I can’t tell you how glad I am that my cardiac surgeon is one of the exceptional few that almost nobody would object to being a higher rate taxpayer, and more deserving of a knighthood than Fred the Shred and his kind.

    If he showed the same level of intelligence and competence typical of leading politicians I wouldn’t be typing this would I?

  9. @Aberdaberdoo – “I think that it was a different matter for Cameron to do this in opposition.”

    I would disagree – he was still a public servant then, as now, and linking democratic accountability to payment is unacceptable at any level, in my view. I’m trying to wonder what the implications might be if a councillor of any party invited invited local businesses to pay to have dinner with them. Would Cameron say this was perfectly acceptable?

    “It is fair enough to seek as many views and ideas from the movers and shakers in business.”

    Certainly, so have meetings with them. No need to charge.

    Interesting reports about yet another attempted break in to Ed Milliband’s parliamentary office – the third one this year. It’s being reported that MI5 are now investigating [snort’s with derision – if history can ever be a guide to the present, chances are it’s MI5 doing the breaking in..].

    Clearly some of his opponents must fear him more than they’re letting on in public…….

  10. @john B dick – too true. Betrand Russel said something to the effect that the trouble with stupid people is that they are too stupid to realise their limitations, and the great minds tend to be filled with self doubt. Pick which category we should place politicians in.

  11. Is the December (during the post-veto bounce) the last Survation poll?

    If so, we surely have to judge the polls for then to the polls now?
    So if we take Survation as Con -4, Lab +4, Lib -3 and compare to Yougov, you have Con -4, Lab +2, Lib -1.
    So for the Conservative VI, it shows exactly the same trend.

    So actually, it’s not as bad for the Conservatives as it first seems, as Survation already had low Con VI compared to other pollsters.

  12. First time poster here, so please treat me gently

    As a Labour Party member I welcome any lead in the polls, as the Conservatives have been very successful in blaming everything and anything on the last Government (regardless of how and why things panned out)

    What intrigues me from reading comments on here this mornings are the comments relating to the economy. Have the ‘real’ experts on here taken into account the price of oil and the damage that can do to any economy? This is the real difficulty facing the Govt and their forecasts produced in the budget last week, and with economists not knowing whether the price is going to increase or decrease, I doubt the experts on here know either

  13. ALEC
    And in psychology it’s called the Dunning-Kruger effect – so there is also some research to suggest that it’s actually a real thing.
    And the Bertrand quote –
    “One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”

  14. I hope everyone believes the veracity of Mr Cameron’s statement that he did not know that his senior man was selling access to him. This strategy was never discussed by Mr Cruddas and Mr Cameron.

    The Consevatives never behave in such a way.

    I hope the Liberal Democrats will vote loyally in the House against any Labour censure motion on this matter.

  15. Alec, Tinged Fringe

    I love the D-K effect and isn’t it just so true!

    I am a scientist an see it in play at work – scientists have über-doubt mainly due to the need for evidence so wrap things in caveat when explaining it.

    Something our politicians seem not to care about that much

  16. I love the “Cash-for-Cameron” meme, it’s got the same stink as “cash for questions” and has the same capacity to run and run (currently trending on twitter). The underlying message is that you matter more to the Tories if you have more money, and they don’t care where the money comes from.

    The apparent overt conspiracy to commit a criminal act would appear to justify a criminal investigation into Tory funding, which would probably blow them out of the water (no smoke without fire). But I’m not holding my breath – unless the ST has more to come…

  17. @ Alec

    Clearly some of his opponents must fear him more than they’re letting on in public…….
    I’d be interested to know, who had Ed’s office before him? Did they leave a secret strategy plan behind the radiator & desperately want it back?

  18. Alec & TF

    Where Harold MacMillan and John Major went wrong was their span of control. They had too many ministerial and other positions to fill without having recourse to incompetents, drunks, philanderers, and thieves.

    The SNP’s sucess is that the cabinet is only nine, of which one is the leader and another manages government business. Two have ministries of lesser public interest so only five do the heavy lifting.

    It’s easier to find seven good ministers than dozens and keep a track of what they are doing without resorting to micromanagement and sofa government.

    If out of seven you manage to find three or even two who are outstanding, you can hardly go wrong. The FM’s job is a doddle.

    DC is doomed to fail because like Rupert Murdoch he has to rely on too many people and the chance of one or more letting him down increases as their number increases. He should take advice from John Major.

  19. I wonder if any private NHS company people have met Cameron at his Leader’s Group dinners?

  20. @ Robin

    Because there was two people running the cash for access thing, the lobbyist & the treasurer, I believe that it could be characterized as a ‘conspiracy’. We’ll see whether there’s any serious investigation of this or whether the resignation is enough because no money changed hands.

  21. I saw a quite a good joke. If you donate £5,000 to the SNP, you get to meet Alex Salmond; donate £10,000 & you don’t have to.

  22. Whilst im not worried about the Labour leads as long as EdM is still in charge the last thing the Tory party needed was this.

    When Eastenders gets hold of this…sorry i mean BBC news they will be like a rabid dog, Why oh why dont they learn?
    Of course i believe DC has nothing to do with any of this but as the saying goes, Mud Sticks.

    On the issue of the budget, once all this dies down and people actually look at the budget again without the spin on it i think the Tory vote will climb back a bit as i think it was a pretty fair budget with the country being where it is.

    I actually will lose about £2700 per year but i understand why so im not going to take to the streets about it.
    What i am happy about in a funny way is the labour lead…means they will keep EdM till 2015 :)

  23. BLUEBOB.

    I fully agree with you.
    There is no way that Mr Cameron would have discussed fund raising methods with his Chief Fundraiser.

    That would be a preposterous idea. Of course he did not know about it.

    All we have to find out is when the Prime Minister stopped knowing about it.

  24. Bluebob

    How do you manage to lose 2700 if you don’t mind me asking? What measure in the budget will cost you – I didn’t think any of the measures had that big affect apart from perhaps child maintenance

  25. @Bluebob

    Points well made.


    Welcome, re the economy I am backing my believe with hard earned cash and investing heavily in recovery. So far I am well ahead of where I was before the financial crash.

  26. Perhaps I’m remembering incorrectly, but I was under the impression that, in law, CCHQ is Cameron’s personal private office (which is one way they avoid a lot of tax). That would mean that everything they do is effectively authorised by Cameron.

  27. In the budget: Regionalizing public sector wages & welfare. Labour & the Unions have simply got to raise the issue of regionalizing retirement & pensionable ages:

    The gap between the health areas with the highest and lowest life expectancies at birth are 11.3 years for males and 10.1 years for females. At age 65, the gap is 8.5 years for men and 8.3 years for women.

    How popular would the Tories be, if folks in the SE had to wait an extra 10 years for their pensions?

  28. @BAZSC
    “If the Mail attacks the Tories it makes more difference than if it is the Mirror that does so”

    The Daily Mail reporting on the Survation poll:

    “The Chancellor has also been overtaken by his Labour opposite number Ed Balls on economic trust.”

  29. Whatever else you think about them, the Coaltion has been a rollercoaster so far, don’t you think?

    Even if you are a Tory who believes that DC, GO and the rest are principled, sincere and held back by the LD part of the Government, and you buy inot the “Coulson and Brooks misled me”, “I didn’t know about Cash for access” (surely he wondered why these people were showing up for supper?) and the Forestry, NHS, schools policies are either good or carried out without DC’s full knowledge…surely if the voting intention shrinks back to core (30% or under) the die hard will start to worry?

    But as a political opponent or even disinterested observer, it just seems like one crisis after another.

  30. @Blueblob – “Of course i believe DC has nothing to do with any of this but as the saying goes, Mud Sticks.”

    The problem you have with this I’m afraid, is that Cameron knows precisely about cash for access, has willingly and openly participated in it and has admitted so publically on many different occasions.

    The Leaders Club is a key Tory fundraising method and Cameron attends regular dinners and functions with wealthy people in exchange for £50,000 donations to the Tory party. This is completely undeniable. So please don’t tell me Cameron has nothing to do with this.

    What we’ve we have seen over the last 24 hours actually fits into a picture of evasion we have seen many times since Cameron came to power. For example, he still has failed to confirm when he had dinner with Rebecca Brookes at Christmas last year, whether there was indeed a second ‘meeting’ as some have suggested, who was present, whether any party officials or civil servants were present, or whether any government business was discussed.

    He has resolutely failed to publish details of which non NI business contacts he has entertained in the private flat at No 10, despite several requests to do so. Hi party still accepts huge donations from the Midlands Regional Council, whose membership and purpose is somewhat obscure.

    For a man who purports to favour open government, he has some odd ways of doing things. Time to let the sunshine in.

  31. @Amberstar – absolutely wonderful point. Like an Exocet of logic penetrating the deck of policy convention.

    For the poorest 10% of the population, the basic pension comprises a far higher proportion of their retirement incomes, yet their life expectancy has grown only by a matter of a few weeks in the last 20 years. Average age of death in the rougher parts of Glasgow are 66 for men. Regionalise pension now – and then lets quote what the Daily mail says!

  32. Like many of these “scandals”, it will be the denials and cover-ups that make it look even worse.

  33. I’m sure that DC and GO knew nothing of this, and no amount of money could buy access and influence from high rate tax payers or private health companies.
    And if Cruddas faces jail time for fraud or for obtaining money by deception, then I’m sure he’ll stick to this story because obviously it’s the truth.
    How do you put a smiley on a posting?

  34. Just watched Michael Fallon on the BBC.


  35. Can we please not have a tiresome relay of Conservative supporters saying they are sure David Cameron is innocent of all of this, and Conservative-detractors saying how they are sure he must be in it up to his neck. It doesn’t tell us anything other than the authors’ prejudices.

  36. Sorry AW.

    It is exciting though.

  37. @Alec – “… if history can ever be a guide to the present”

    More likely it’s an offshoot of rogues and irregulars – people with connections to the security services – the types who organise coups in small African states, and are now breaking into Ed Milliband’s policy office.

  38. @AW – understood. Just to clarify, I wasn’t saying Cameron knew of this particular cash for access wheeze – I accept his assurances on this at face value. I was only pointing out that the Tories have for a considerable time run a highly successful cash for access scheme which is well known, and while they publish details of all the donations raised in this way as required by law, they are very reticent about which donors are in the Leaders Club and attend these dinners.

  39. Can I just say that – so far – David Cameron has not walked into the elephant trap which Tim Montgomerie leapt into.

    David Cameron has focussed on his own Party & has not linked this event to wider Party funding issues nor tried to drag other Parties into it – yet.

    To have followed Montgomeries’ suggestion would have inferred that this was systematic, not a one-of-a-kind ‘rogue’ incident.

    Let’s see if his disciplined approach holds or will the temptation to spread the mud around be too strong for others in his Party?

  40. I hope that Yougov conduct some polling about party funding and about peoples perception of the honesty of main parties/politicians.

    It would be interesting whether the public hold the same view, as they did at the time of the MP’s expenses scandal. From memory their was a majority that did not trust MP’s.

  41. @ Alec

    Regionalise pension now – and then lets quote what the Daily mail says!
    IMO, this is an elephant in the ‘regional room’ with which Labour & the Unions must bring to the government’s attention immediately.

  42. I hope Sam’s a good cook because even by London prices it’s an expensive dinner…still once the chips are down….I’m sure it’s like being at a buffet at Las Vegas…or do I mean roulette wheel…

    Do you think they serve Etonmess…or is that just the way they run things…

    Ah well, the nice thing is that Mr Cruddas will only have to cough up another 250k and he’ll be right back where he started…

  43. The sad thing is he brought Samantha into his chit chat .. dinner with Dave and Sam… wives should be a no no…. all very toxic for U.K. politics……papers had a go at Blair and Browns wives…… one wonders if Sam gives a diner… does Dave just happen to come along……………..

    Interesting to see if voters already wavering in the polls over the budget return to LibDems.

  44. Alec
    1.50 post
    What does’ non N I investors’ mean?

  45. ewen

    I think he meant News International. Cameron published his “private” meetings with NI but not other meetings.

  46. The interesting thing in this weeks’ polls is the crumbling of the Con base vote. This has held up remarkably well since the general election until now but now we have a significant change.

    Percentage of 2010 Con voters switching to Lab:

    16 March 2%
    19 March 3%
    20 March 4%
    21 March 4%
    22 March 6%
    23 March 7%

    The standard deviation on these numbers (sample around 500) is around 1.7% (note: it gets smaller with small %ages) – so this is not looking like random variation at all. Worrying for the blues, I would say.

  47. There seems to be very little academic backing for YouGov’s implication that a disjunction exists between “fairer” and “stronger” economies. Evidence produced by the IMF (A 2011 note for the International Monetary Fund by Andrew G. Berg and Jonathan D. Ostry) in the context of “developing economies” flatly contradicts that kind of ideology:

    [There exists] a strong association between lower levels of inequality in developing countries and sustained periods of economic growth. Developing countries with high inequality have succeeded in initiating growth at high rates for a few years but longer growth spells are robustly associated with more equality in the income distribution.

    A broader study by Perotti (Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say, Journal of Economic Growth,1996) finds that

    “inequality is associated with lower levels of taxation, while lower levels of taxation, contrary to the theories, are associated with a lower level of economic growth”

  48. Billy bob

    A broader study by Perotti (Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say, Journal of Economic Growth,1996) finds that

    “inequality is associated with lower levels of taxation, while lower levels of taxation, contrary to the theories, are associated with a lower level of economic growth”

    If that is true, there goes Thatcherism, and indeed the whole Republican party in the US.

  49. S**t happens, especially in politics, especially when implementing necessary but unpopular policies. Sleaze, what’s new ? Levy et al., no moral high ground exists, we are all guilty of double standards, it’s human nature. 3 more years in power, then the electorate will do the decent thing, and put us back in. :-)

  50. S**t happens, especially when implementing necessary but unpopular policies. Sleaze, what’s new ? Lord Levy and friends, Bernie Ecclestone, same old political nonsense….but, in just over 3 yrs time the electorate will do the decent thing, and vote us in again. :-)

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