Full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here. On the regular trackers David Cameron is at minus 23 (from minus 26 last week), Ed Miliband minus 46 (from minus 44), Nick Clegg at minus 55 (from minis 54). The government’s continuing troubles don’t seem to have damaged David Cameron any further since last week, but to put it in context he was at around minus ten for the eight months or so before March, so neither has he recovered significantly.

Asked a slightly different way George Osborne has a approval rating of minus 40 – down from minus 31 at the time of the budget. Opinions of the budget itself have also become ever more negative – only 13% now think it will be good for the economy, 43% think it will be bad. More broadly, 27% of people thought that government had been doing well but has lost its way in recent weeks (14% think it hasn’t, 45% think it was doing badly in the first place). Of those, 33% blame George Osborne the most, followed by David Cameron on 23%.

Turning to the issue of Abu Qatada and human rights 70% think that the ECHR has too much power, and 77% would prefer the final ruling on Human Rights cases to be made in the UK. On the specifics of Qatada himself, 81% would like to see him deported now regardless of any appeal, 14% think he should be allowed to stay while his appeal is heard. Only 28% think Theresa May has handled the issue well, 54% think she has handled it badly.

Moving onto the proposed strikes by fuel tanker drivers and tube workers the public have little sympathy for either, a majority of people are opposed to the strike action by fuel tanker drivers (by 56% to 25%) and tube workers (by 53% to 22%). However, while these specific strikes don’t carry public support there is little support for strike bans for either group. Given a list of professions, a majority of people tend to support their right to strike – the only professions we asked about that people think should not be able to strike are police officers, firefighters and doctors.

Finally there were a series of questions on education. Respondents thought reading and writing was taught well in schools by 53% to 37% badly, on maths the figures are 50% well to 40% badly. Parents who actually have school age children were significantly more positive, with 73% thinking reading and writing is currently taught well, 72% thinking maths is. Despite this broad approval of current teaching standards, 60% also say that teaching standards are not demanding enough (47% of parents of school-age children would). 67% of people (61% of parents) would support keeping children back a year if they do not make progress, 64% of people (61% of parents) would support stopping child benefit for parents whose children persistently truant.

As well as the normal weekly poll, YouGov also has a French poll in the Sunday Times, conducted ahead of today’s general election. YouGov have Hollande ahead on 30%, Sarkozy on 26%, Le Pen on 15%, Melenchon on 14% and the various others on 15%. This is a bigger lead for Hollande than some of the other final polls, which have shown between a 3.5 point lead for Hollande (BVA and Ipsos) and the two main contenders equal on 27% (Ifop and TNS).

Overall, the final polls have Hollande between 27%-30%, Sarkozy between 25%-27%, Le Pen between 14%-17%, Melenchon between 12%-14.5%.

222 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times & the French election”

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  1. am I first?

    French vote will be interesting. All French colleagues at work think Sarko will win – strange seeing the polls!

  2. “All French colleagues at work think Sarko will win – strange seeing the polls!”
    Ultimately it doesn’t matter if Sarko wins round one, as long as there isn’t a surprise swing behind Melenchon, for him to come second (which is unlikely).
    All the most recent polls have Sarko losing the second round by a large portion of the vote to Hollande.

  3. As Tingefringe says, it might look close on the first round, but Hollande has a firm 8-14 point lead on the second round and has been ahead there for well over a year, so Sarkozy has quite a lead to overcome.

  4. The YouGov internals often suggest is that the 18-24 age group have….’interesting’ political views. They have the most favorable views on the the government’s spending plans, they approve of Cameron and Osbourne the most….and yet they are also more supportive of strike action than any other age group. Hmmmm….

  5. bobby501

    This happens practically every Sunday. If you look at the weightings, you will see that on Sundays YouGov’s usual low number of under 25s plummets even further, especially among men. So this week 36 men and 47 women together (83) had their votes taken to represent 208 people. With such a small (sub)sample you’re often going to get odd results.

    I’ve always assumed that it was because most 18-24 year olds had better things to do on a Thursday night and Friday (before 2pm) when the Sunday polls are taken, than fill in long quizzes about politics on their computer[1]. And that those that do aren’t typical of their age group.

    [1] Or they do it when they come in completely smashed at 4am.

  6. Labour are starting to register the kind of mid-term poll leads they need in order to effectively challenge for government in 2015. The question is, can these leads be sustained for a decent period of time? So far my sense is that the Tories have been slipping on some pretty bad banana skins but I’m not sure there is anything yet which has fundamentally changed the likely trajectory of a Cameron election victory in three years’ time. Time will tell.

  7. Be interesting to see whether the FN hold off for third against the Trot: if not I wonder who will be the first poster on here to suggest (with a straight face) that EdM copies some of Melenchons policies ?! I have some predictions but I am keeping them to myself.

    The second round still looks relatively comfortable for Hollande: anyone in power in ‘the west’ between 2009 and 2015 has a mountain to climb at their subsequent election. Not a very nice time to be a leader: perhaps only Obama will break the incumbent losing streak during these upcoming years.

  8. I think the Coalitions current troubles have highlighted something important which I don’t think we’ve discussed before.

    When Tony Blair & New Labour moved to the center & even triangulated sharply to the right, the left of the Labour Party had no significant voice in the media. The howls of protest were generally still-born or, if mentioned, they were mocked by the media. Tony Blair got kudos for stamping on the ‘hard’-left.

    When David Cameron & the Caring? Conservatives try to move to the center, the right-wing press come down like a ton of bricks. Any triangulation to the left, even when boldly announced by Cameron himself, is swiftly credited to/ blamed on the junior partner in the Coalition. David Cameron is characterized by the media as pandering to the LibDems instead of standing strong against his own ‘hard’-right.

    The right-wing media will likely return to vociferously backing the Tories when we get closer to an actual GE. But perhaps they will leave it too late & the impression of incompetence will be impossible to shift.

  9. Shock poll finding (No. 465)

    A majority of the British population don’t relish the prospect of fuel shortages and neither do they like the thought of disruption to their train services.

    Well I never and you could knock me down with a feather!!

    The key question, though, certainly from a political point of view, will be who they will blame should the strikes materialise. The Unions or the Government that presides over the ensuing chaos? The answer to that question will not be nearly as clear cut, I think. It’s quite possible that an already deeply unpopular government will take some large collateral damage if people can’t fill their cars with fuel or use their trains to get to work. It will play into the growing impression of a government losing their grip.

    Bob Crow won’t necessarily be the recipient of all the vitriol, especially if an increasingly jaundiced press can no longer be relied upon for supine loyalty and obedience!

  10. @ Rob Sheffield

    I have some predictions but I am keeping them to myself.
    Well, it won’t be me. I am hoping Hollande wins & then we can take a serious look at what his policies are & how he convinced France to back them.

    Hollande is hardly M. Chic in a country where voters value style & charisma more than UK voters do; so there could be lessons for Labour from a strong Hollande victory.

  11. AW
    Do you have leadership ratings for Sarkozy/Hollande in the Youguv poll?

  12. Nice to see that YG “global” extends to France :)

  13. Talking of the right-wing media… I just saw an elephant fly.

    The Telegraph has a ‘straight’ reporting article about regional pay for the NHS which extensively quotes Unison & Andy Burnham without any slant, spin, ‘tone’ or Lansley quotes.

    At the moment, it doesn’t even allow comments so that the Tele’s report can be ‘spun’ by its audience (largely UKIP & Tory supporters).

    I am amazed.

  14. ” I have some predictions but I am keeping them to myself.”
    UKIP posters who support his withdrawal from the EU? or liberal Tories backing his pro-gay marriage stance? ;)

  15. More seriously, it will be an interesting run for third place, but I’m pretty certain it’s going to be Le Pen – I don’t think Melenchon has ever polled above Le Pen. (I could be wrong on both though).

  16. Smukesh –

    Full tabs are now up here:


    There aren’t leadership ratings as much, but there are some on people’s perceptions of the candidates

  17. People are tweeting using # as #radiolondres to tweet the results of the election in their area under codenames.

    So far it seems to be
    Hollande 27%-30%
    Sarkozy 25%-27%
    Le penn 15%-17%
    Menchy 13%-14%

    Which is eerily close to Anthony’s averaging of the final few polls mentioned in the post. Found out today, Conservatives have had the Elysee since 1995, that’s 17 years;.

  18. @Amber
    “Talking of the right-wing media… I just saw an elephant fly ”
    Grauniad also covering this on their website and last time I looked there were over 1000 comments. One person referred to Lansley as a “custard” – or maybe I got a couple of letters wrong.

  19. TingedFringe

    I didn’t mean Round 1, I meant the whole election (thought that would be obvious as I am not that thick so as to not understand the French electoral system).

    Just find it odd that all of the French I have spoken to think this, and none of them particularly like him!

  20. Interesting French Poll note:

    “Reinstating death penalty for particularly violent crimes”


    Madam Guillotine to return to gay Paris?

  21. Surely, in the spirit of the gloriously uplifting and invigorating London Mayoral race we should be referring to Francois, Nicolas, Jean Luc and Marie when talking about the French Presidential election, shouldn’t we?

    I think Francois might sneak the first round, with Nicolas a close second. Whether Marie pips Jean Luc for third spot is anyone’s guess. Francois to then win the run-off in two weeks time.

    That’s more like it, isn’t it? lol

  22. Crossbat

    The results are coming in on twitter #radiolondres

    it seems that all the polls were almost spot on, except Menchy seems to have dropped back a bit, to only 12% allowing Hollande to hit around 30%

    Likely a few of the far left, returning to the socialists just to make sure we don’t get a surprise a la 2002.

  23. @AW


    Sarkozy scores
    High on being scary,competent,has what it takes to be president
    Low on wanting to change things,understanding people like me,being agreeable,being earnest.,honest

    Hollande scores
    High on being honest,wanting to change things,understanding people like me,being agreeable
    Low on has what it takes to be president,being competent,being scary,being earnest.

    which tells us that people are prepared to vote for Hollande eventhough he doesn`t look the part if he has enough things going for him(mainly the poor economy).

  24. The Times website says that Sarkozy`s vote has collapsed in French overseas territories

  25. Exciting though for France….

  26. @Max

    “Likely a few of the far left, returning to the socialists just to make sure we don’t get a surprise a la 2002.”

    I think they were always going to do that in the second round anyway. Maybe they’ve just switched one round of voting earlier to make sure Hollande gets more momentum going into the run off with Sarkozy.

  27. I wonder whether there will be move towards the left in Europe in general. The right of centre parties have formed the majority of governments in Europe during recent years, but I think it is going to swing back to the left.

    I can see Cameron looking to become more Eurosceptic towards the GE, as he tries to gain back some of the UKIP switchers, as well as show that the Tories are a lot different than the Lib Dems.

  28. @ Anthony

    Is there any possibility of link to the France poll in French, please?

    If you know, would you please tell me: Was it created in English & translated to French or vice versa?

    Thank you. :-)

  29. R Huckle

    It will be interesting to see the Tory approach at the next election and this is why the Coalition has challenged some assumptions we have made in the past.

    It could be that Cameron can tack right a bit as the centre-right can be protected by the LD.

    My view is that there will be no LD/Labour coalition after the next election – it would be too opportunistic based on the LD actions during this Parliament (coupled with the hatred of them) – and I think we will see ever closer links between LD and Tory

    Virtually all the current LD activists/voters who post on here or LDV are pro-Coalition and anti-Labour so I see a continuing relationship.

  30. @Smukesh

    “…which tells us that people are prepared to vote for Hollande eventhough he doesn`t look the part if he has enough things going for him(mainly the poor economy).”

    Hollande was regarded as a bit of a lightweight (not physically though!) bon viveur in his early political life and very much in the shadow of his former wife and French Socialist Presidential candidate in 2007, Ségolène Royal. He’s recast himself now as more of the “ordinary guy” and, in doing so, has deliberately cultivated a dullness that isn’t really his natural personality. He is in fact a bit of a character with a lively sense of humour but has suppressed this side of his persona in order to appeal to voters who are suffering in more serious economic times. It appears to be working.

    Lessons for Miliband? If you’re lucky to be running against an unpopular leader of a discredited government whose policies have evidently failed then it’s amazing how forgiving an electorate can be about supposed character flaws, hitherto mercilessly lampooned by your political opponents!!

  31. CROSSBAT11
    `Lessons for Miliband? If you’re lucky to be running against an unpopular leader of a discredited government whose policies have evidently failed then it’s amazing how forgiving an electorate can be about supposed character flaws, hitherto mercilessly lampooned by your political opponents!!`

    Fair point…So,really it`s all about then economy come 2015 I suppose…And am not sure Cameron is going to score as highly as Sarkozy on competence

  32. Amber – I haven’t seen the results in French (and they were written in French)

  33. Just an aside to the current thread

    Just been on hold in US and came back to LHR yesterday

    I took a few internal flights in the US as well as the return and the difference between the professionalism of security in the US compared to UK remarkable.

    The behavior and attitude in the UK was a disgrace. The queues were huge, even on a transfer, and the staff are really power-drunk and disrespectful (in contrast with US where they are tough but tend to have a professional attitude)

    Returning to the UK by air is a terrible experience and I can see some fun during the Olympics – not that seeing them falling flat on there face would cause me much loss of sleep to be honest

  34. Everyone with SkyTV in the UK, France 24 (channel 513) have comprehensive coverage in English of the French Presidential elections.

  35. Just to add polls close at 8pm CET (7pm BST, 6pm GMT).

  36. @ Anthony,

    Thank you. Maybe Virgilio will have a link to the French version, if he joins us later.

  37. Re: Exit polls

    France 24: The 9 major French.polling organisations signed an agreement not to conduct exit.polls on the Sunday, or divulge any voting intention data. But Belgian and Swiss pollsters are already revealing their data.

  38. @Roger M


  39. Thank you :-)

  40. @ Bazsc

    ‘Virtually all the current LD activists/voters who post on here or LDV are pro-Coalition and anti-Labour so I see a continuing relationship.’

    Far too simplistic. I am staunchly pro-Coalition and I hate Labour’s tribalism and its conservative streak (remember all those Labour MPs and trade unions rallying round last year to defend our indefensible electoral system) but I am not anti-Labour. In previous years I have always given my second preference vote in the London Mayoral election to Ken Livingstone (but I’m not sure I can stomach doing that again – I think I would have been very likely to vote for Oonagh King).

    My basic position is that Lib Dems and Labour are estranged first cousins on the broadly progressive side of politics. By contrast, to the extent that the Tories exist to defend entrenched wealth, power and privilege, they are the enemy.

    So if I had been given a choice in 2010 of a LD-Con coalition or an LD-Labour coalition I would have chosen the Labour option. But we didn’t have a choice and it would have been utter madness for a party which had been in opposition for 65 years to spurn a golden opportunity to enter government. I don’t particularly like the Conservative party or its values but it was right for us to go into coalition with them in the circumstances that arose in May 2010 and, as a result of that courageous decision the country is benefitting from good progressive Lib Dem policies (plus some Tory ones I’m less keen on…). The alternative was a Tory minority government (with Lib Dems left outside the government but forced to vote for a Tory budget…) which would, in all likelihood have led to a small Cameron majority in October 2010 and a government far more right wing than the one we currently have. Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems collectively made the right call.

    I am completely relaxed about a future Labour-Lib Dem coalition, but I think the electorate might find it hard to stomach the Lib Dems jumping straight from government with the Tories into government with Labour. However I wouldn’t entirely rule it out. I am quite sure that both Ed Milliband and David Cameron would far rather be negotiating with Nick Clegg after the 2015 election than with Alec Salmond.

    Of course if the SNP win their independence referendum in 2014 the pragmatic arguments for the English/Welsh Labour Party to embrace PR at last will become pretty overwhelming. We live in interesting times.

  41. fairly badly, very badly
    I’m a regular reader of these pages but haven’t commented in a very long time.
    Anyway, looking at Ed Miliband’s negative ratings they seem to be stemming from Labour voters who don’t rate him highly.
    But if we look at the fairly badly/very badly split a question I have is: ‘Have Labour voters shifted from very badly to fairly badly in their perceptions of EdM over recent weeks?’
    If so this means his rating is actually improving and even though he’s still looks rather unpopular on the ‘overall well’/’overall badly’ split.
    Just a thought. I don’t have old full tables to answer this question but I just wanted to put it out there.

  42. Just to give some Stateside reactions, there were some “experts” on Zakaria today (Our really bad international politics show, yet sadly still one of the better news shows on American TV) suggesting that a Hollande victory means an imminent collapse of the French and European economy like Greece. They are also saying how France will now make American foreign policy difficult. (As if that wasn’t the case with France and the US already)

    So all is normal here, a Left win in Europe means that the Communists are taking over. I mean, it wasn’t rainbows and lollipops with Mitterrand, but I don’t believe our relationship was any more miserable than it usually is with France.

    People over here will soon start comparing Obama with Hollande and will call the French government “Liberal” just like how they describe the Australian government. (The ultimate irony)

  43. French exits: NF on 20% which is higher than 10 years ago. 9 points higher than the Trot. ‘shy’ NFers in recent OP?

    Hollande exits at 28/ Sarko at 25

    Now we have to wait for actual votes…

  44. @ David

    …as a result of that courageous decision the country is benefitting from good progressive Lib Dem policies.
    The LD decision was not even politically “courageous”; it was a parliamentary arithmetic expedient. And as for “good, progressive LD policies” :roll:

    Can’t you see that it’s hyperbole like that which causes Labour supporters with a sense of humour to ROFLOL & makes the rest of them dislike the LDs even more?

  45. People may lie about voting for Madame LePen as well, she could do very well tonight. I wouldn’t be comfortable as Sarkozy because who knows, maybe LePen shocks.

    But I wouldn’t be comfortable as Hollande either, many of these LePen supporters will vote for Sarkozy and there are less votes for the other left wing/centrist parties than expected.

  46. David

    I had the caveat of posters here or on LDV and if you read the comments you will see that they are anti-Labour. Mark Pack and his pals regularly post any anti-Labour information they have whilst ignoring the Tories (today was about some councillors address in Cardiff!)

    I do not see anyway that Labour will work with the LD after the next election with Clegg in charge. Of the 4 scenarios for the next election I cannot see anything that will prevent the party from undergoing severe ructions apart from a Labour OM which can allow the party to continue as Tory-lite or reinvent themselves again.

    You make some assertions which I believe are false – the first about AV. Although Labour is not united on electoral reform the thing that made their support lukewarm was the linking of it to the disgraceful boundary changes bill. The Labour Party made it clear that this was a problem but your leadership went ahead. Virtually all the support for the’No’ campaign came from your Coalition partners but you have the gall to blame Labour!

    Secondly this idea that Cameron would have won an overall majority – completely unprovable and keeps getting trotted out by LD as a justification for the Coalition – if so it is a pretty poor one and shows how unprincipled you are

    Thirdly, I see very few LD policies that have been implemented without a Tory spin on them that makes them worthless. This 75% number is a ridiculous thruway comment made by that fud Alexander – as I said before politics is not a quantitative science. The philosophy is what counts and that is continuing the neoliberal hegemony we have seen since 79

  47. dannytee

    In theory you’re right about people switching from x to very x and vice versa, but Brits being what they are tend not to say their Party’s leader is very good or very bad (even only 17% of Tories say Cameron is very good). So with the vast majority going for ‘fairly’ something, what movement there is probably isn’t significant.

    If you want the examine past polls however this is easily done through the YouGov archive:


    You can use to page numbers at the bottom of the page to navigate and the filter at the side to get you straight to previous months. And you can get sidetracked by all the strange topics that YouGov does polls on. :)

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