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”

1 2 3 4 5
  1. Ipsos for Le Monde project Hollande would win the run off with Sarkozy on May 6th by 54% to 46%. Just a headline at the moment. Seems a bold claim.

  2. @David
    “The 75% figure comes from a detailed analysis of the Coalition Agreement by the respected Constitution Unit at UCL.”
    It would be great if you could provide a reference for this.
    I looked at the UCL site that refers to 75%, and their paper: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/constitution-unit/research/coalition-government/interim-report2.pdf
    This referred to a paper by Quin, Bara & Bartle. In a copy of this I found at http://www.essex.ac.uk/government/epop/Papers/Panel25/P25_Quinn_EPOP2010.pdf, the only reference to the magic 75% figure was in this quote:
    “In respect of their own four manifesto priorities, one of the Liberal Democrat negotiators, David Laws, estimated that his party secured 75-80% of what it wanted.”
    I don’t think that it counts as a rigorous analysis just because an academic quotes a politician, so would be grateful for a link to where the 75% is explained properly.

  3. david

    nobody who voted LD in 2010 becuase they had promised never ever to vote for tuition fee increases seem likely (at least to me) to vote for any of those who made the pledge again.

    Why should they?

    It would be really foolish to be fooled a second time, wouldn’t it?

    Those who weren’t too bothered about that particular pledge might still note just how much value a LD pledge should be accorded.

    I think your party will not get many back, and deservedly so. But we’ll have to see.

  4. @RAF
    Latest projections

    Given that the Greens and Far left have declared for Hollande,one can see perhaps that it`s looking more upbeat for him

  5. The following link shows the French election results by region as they are declared:


  6. David

    Nonsense – seeing you like the word

    The LD manifesto stated that reduction in the number of MPs is coincidental with the introduction of PR and regional governmental reform so what you have is one half without the other

    The average elector in the UK has low representation when compare to other countries so actually a reduction in MPs reduces access to democracy if not part of a bigger reform

    This shows why that 75% is nonsense!!!

    The equalizing of constituencies is already in the remit of the boundary commission but with a larger margin of error so as to make the seats sensible. The new constituencies already show some geographical/cultural anomalies (apart from the IoW and highland seats which surprisingly will help the two Government parties) and will need to be reviewed after each election due to the demographic changes.

    Also changes to the remit of the boundary commission are usually done via agreement of all the parties not just on the whim of the current Government. Perhaps the next Government (Labour possibly) will want to change the numbers again – and why shouldn’t they!

    Your last comment on FPTP is a real joke – we have a situation where the third party claims to have no power to stop things as they are only the junior partner in the coalition when they have 23% of the electorate behind them but only 9% or so of the seats – under the new boundaries the unfairness against the third party is more marked. This meant in practice that you could only support the Tories in a full scale coalition because not all votes are equal in reality.

    You should have said no to the Tories fiddling with FPTP and stuck to the guns of proper reform – all votes equal. Don’t make me laugh!

  7. Is nobody else disgusted that Sarcozy went rabidly anti-immigration to win votes to get in?

    This sort of rhetoric from leaders causes trouble and it’s not usually the politician who suffers.

  8. NickP

    Yes but it is a common ploy based on blaming the ‘other’ rather than those whose fault it is in reality.

  9. @NICKP
    `Is nobody else disgusted that Sarcozy went rabidly anti-immigration to win votes to get in?`

    The only things he talked about was immigration,security and borders…He left no doubt whose votes he wants

  10. With 38 “electoral department” results officially declared, Hollande has won 25 and Sarkozy 13.

    Popular votes in these 37 results, (39.3% ot total), are:

    30.8% – Hollande
    25.6% – Sarkozy
    17.3% – Le Pen
    10.9% – Melenchon
    9.3% – Bayrou
    6.1% – Others

  11. Interestingly Cameron has backed the loser again /sigh

    Why your not suppose to back people! Especially the unpopular establishment!

    Sarkozy will get quite the thrashing on the 1v1

  12. @FRASER
    `Interestingly Cameron has backed the loser again /sigh`

    Who else has Cameron backed but lost?

  13. @Smukesh

    Its one of those things he likes to pretend never happened:

    The fact he hasn’t learnt, despite now being in government shows Cameron, to me anyway, just makes it up as he goes along.

  14. 53 Results declared so far, (56.5%). Hollande top in 35, Sarkozy top in 18.

    30.1% – Hollande
    25.7% – Sarkozy
    17.6% – Le Pen
    11.0% – Melenchon
    9.4% – Bayrou
    6.2% – Others

  15. “Who else has Cameron backed but lost?”

    Ken v Boris…

  16. @FRASER
    `The fact he hasn’t learnt, despite now being in government shows Cameron, to me anyway, just makes it up as he goes along`

    It`s not over for Sarkozy though…But I don`t think Cameron will be standing aside Sarkozy anytime within the next two weeks

  17. @NickP”“Who else has Cameron backed but lost?”
    Ken v Boris…”

    Lol, well we will find out soon enough. Nick, I think you’re going to be very disappointed. I know you won’t openly show it on May 4th, you will be hiding behind council gains, trying to spin it saying they are more important, but I know how disappointed you will be feeling inside.

    ” 54% to 46%”

    That’s what 2 opinion polls have both predicted for the outcome in 2 weeks time. Seeing the massive gains Sarko has made recently, I’m sure 4 points in 2 weeks is doable.

    `53 Results declared so far, (56.5%). Hollande top in 35, Sarkozy top in 18`

    Sky and Reuters reporting different figures though.After 79% vote,Hollande-28%,Sarkozy-26.9%

  19. “Who else has Cameron backed but lost?”

    there was that World cup bid, too. Should’ve sent Blair and Mandelson.

  20. Not posted on here in a while. Of course a win for Hollande could be good for UK blues in the long term. A top rate of tax of 65%+ will have the wealthy French following the other 300,000 already contributing to the UK economy.

    Couple that with plans to spend like no tomorrow, creating thousands of non productive civil service jobs and France is heading in the direction of Spain, Portugal et al. As the policies begin to unravel in France & the financial situation gets ever more dire there, Brits realise that the UK isn’t so badly off after all, they think twice about supporting EM & switch back to cons/libs. Cameron becomes Merkel’s new best mate. History tells us that it didn’t take that long for Mitterand’s policies to start to come apart.

    All conjecture of course but quite feasibly possible.

  21. @NICKP
    `“Who else has Cameron backed but lost?”`

    Heard that he backed the 5 Tory MP`s vs Eric Joyce too

  22. “All conjecture of course but quite feasibly possible.”

    what’s that they say…


  23. @Bazsc – “One suggestion for helping LD would be an OE and S approach from the Tories… has anyone any information that would support/counter this possibility?”

    Tories are certainly not bothering in my local ward… they are usually in second place – but no campaign at all this time. The high profile LD candidate (unsuccessful 2010 constituency candidate) seems to be getting a free run at Labour.

    Given that the constituency was a very marginal Tory gain from Labour in 2010, it does occur to me that although both coalition parties (as opposed to the leaderships) oppose a “pact”, when it comes to local contests, there will increasingly be a temptation to reach an “understanding” if there is any chance of mutual survival.

  24. @David (9.13)

    “In the end I just don’t think it would be fair to judge a party on its handling of one issue (however much of a fiasco that was). I’m hoping that, when we get to 2015, the electorate will forgive us the broken promise on tuition fees and look at our record in the round.”

    how about a second major issue, imo more important than tuition fees, ie. supporting the NHS bill. If, as is happening already, the service from the NHS becomes worse then the Lib Dems will quite rightly receive the wrath of the electorate. It was this issue which caused me to send my membership card back to Clegg.

  25. “In my area I witnessed the unseemly spectacle of Labour activists handing out No leaflets shoulder-to-shoulder with the Tories.”

    Is this the new definition of Chutzpah?


    Here’s the Wikipedia page for Bayrou:


    Apparently he’s a New Labour/Clinton “Third Way” type. In spite of that, I have a little bit of a soft spot for him because he’s been married to the same woman for 40 years (and they all live on the family farm!), which renders him pretty much unique amongst the main presidential candidates and, apparently, French politics in general.


    An interesting take on it.

    You could have a point.

    It will certainly be interesting to watch the reaction of French GDP , and the Bond Markets , to more spending on civil servants, higher taxes & lower retirement age.


  27. “rabidly anti-immigration”?
    I think we in the UK sometimes don’t see how unusual we are. We might help ourselves by looking at this election. London is now the fifth biggest city in France according to the FT. This may be the first election in which the French left candidate has won the London vote, a tribute to the scale of Hollande’s victory but also to the change in the French population here. Young and highly educated they are attracted to a liberalism unthinkable in their own country or in any EU country. Of course many do not approve of Hollande’s programme.
    Hollande’s visit to campaign in London was big news in France because he piped down on the populism allowing Sarkozy to say he was Mitterand at home but Thatcher in London.
    In Denmark, Neil Kinnock’s daughter-in-law won the election for the left but with immigration policies that were UKIP plus in a UK context.
    Nor will Sarkozy win over many more of the FN with his posturing. Indeed even Chirac is calling for a vote for Hollande. Sarkozy is after all not “one of us”.


    @”History tells us that it didn’t take that long for Mitterand’s policies to start to come apart.”

    Indeed :-

    Retour vers le futur , je pens.


  29. Just as feasible..?

    The French employ more public servants on infra structure projects and ensure spending on education and health are protected. The lower retirement age freeze up employ,emt opportunities for the young.

    They get growth just as Labour did at the end of their spell. Surprisingly there debt shrinks slightly despite spending more than, say, Uk who cuts, cuts, cuts but the debt only increases because there is no growth.

    Eventually the “bond markets” judge by results and we in the UK are in serious trouble.

  30. David
    I’m afraid you mention “fair” a lot. It is not a word which exists in politics. Least of all, some with the bruises would say, of Lib Dem politics. But the fact is no one left of centre is likely to vote Lib Dem for a long time, if ever.
    If I can give you some facts, in my city, the Lib Dems had 15 councillors elected last time and have 13 candidates this time. In neighbouring Aberdeenshire they are still leading the council but are standing I think fewer candidates than they have incumbants and beyond that in Highland the current leader is a Lib Dem who is also UK local politician of the year. But he is not standing and the Lib Dems are standing fewer candidates than they have councillors.

  31. It will certainly be interesting to watch Nick.

    Though if it is a success, and EDnED espouse & support it, they will have to become Socialists.

    Can they do that ?


  32. @ Max King

    “run off is may 6th”

    Thank you!

    @ Raf

    “As for talking negatively about Muslims (and halal meat) that appears to be a vote winner across Europe.”

    Heh, that’s a shame. It hasn’t worked here but I would imagine it would if we had a larger Muslim community and there were actual problems stemming from that community (the only homegrown terrorists in the U.S. have been white Christians).

    @ Smukesh

    “`Milliband,Milliband—how does that sound,Max?”

    Wouldn’t they just chant ‘Ed!”?

  33. Robert N
    I had not seen your comment before I posted but I think Labour will have to process French politics carefully! From memory, the Mitterand programme was in fact a prime minesterial one ine the hands of M Rocard so Mitterand was able to get out of it. And Rocard dumped?

  34. ‘Colin, Robert Newark & NickP – regarding the impact of a Hollande win on UK politics, you’re all forgetting a central factor; that politicians say things in elections they don’t really mean.

    Will Hollande really impose a 75% tax rate on the wealthy – who knows, but if he didn’t, he wouldn’t be the first elected leader not to do as he/she promised. I recall we weren’t going to have a big NHS reorganisation, tuition fees weren’t going to rise, and we were to vote on the Lisbon treaty, for example.

    The second, and in many ways more pertinent point, would be how much damage a badly performing socialist government in France would inflict on the British Labour party.

    My guess is not much. It would rather enable Ed to distinguish himself and assure people he wasn’t a rampant leftie, as he certainly won’t be making Hollande’s kind of promises.

    Unless of course, they work…..

  35. @Max
    ” 54% to 46%”
    “That’s what 2 opinion polls have both predicted for the outcome in 2 weeks time.”
    I have no real interest in the London mayoral election, but it seems to me that Boris is a populist national character who regularly tries to distance himself from Westminster tories, and that Ken is unpopular even with Labour supporters, has had horrible publicity over his taxes, and gets a daily slating in a newspaper read by many Londoners. Based on this, a 54-46 split seems a bit underwhelming.

  36. “Though if it is a success, and EDnED espouse & support it, they will have to become Socialists.

    Can they do that ?”

    God, I hope so.

  37. My personal predictions are 52-48 Hollande-Sarkozy, 53-47 Boris-Ken, Labour to their majority but retain their plurality in Glasgow, and 38-35-15 C/La/Li projected national vote in the council elections.

  38. NICK

    I thought they were Social Democrats.

    Alec says they wouldn’t make Hollandaise promises.

    I find it all very confusing.


  39. “Who else has Cameron backed but lost?”
    Liam Fox?

  40. @ Jolubecohada

    Thanks for posting that link!

    It looks like Hollande is clinging to a narrow 3% lead. I think it’s more of a psychological edge to come in first than anything.

    I see that Brittany (one of my favorite parts of France) went for Hollande (yay!!). Provence though (one of my other favorites) went for Sarkozy. :( Can’t tell who’s winning in the Cote D’Azur (that may be split into different electoral districts).

  41. “Who else has Cameron backed but lost?”
    Andy Coulson, Rebecca Brooks, …

  42. “Who else has Cameron backed but lost?”
    Presumably William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard.

  43. “Who else has Cameron backed but lost?

    The Tory party-Well they din`t actually lose,but they din`t win either

  44. I merely try to provide a different perspective on what could happen. Hollande will almost certainly win, as Blair was always going to, in 1997. Sarkozy is not popular even with farmers, who are traditionally right wing. But Hollande has absolutely no experience of Government and will be another 1 term president imho.

    Strauss K would have been a far stronger and more durable, candidate for the left. Unfortunately he blotted his copy book.

    However, it will be interesting to see how quickly his policies are watered down, once Angela bends his ear & the bond markets bring a touch of reality to bear. We all know that politicians will say anything to get elected, then change their view once reality sets in..

  45. @Peewee

    You talking bout the wrong election mate :P

    The 54 to 46 etc was about the french run off, not London.

    “London is now the fifth biggest city in France”

    Gonna need to get myself a new map then.

  46. @Robert Newark/Colin

    “@”History tells us that it didn’t take that long for Mitterand’s policies to start to come apart.”

    Would that be the Francois Mitterand who was the longest serving President in the history of France (1981-1995) and who was re-elected after his first term in 1988 with an increased majority? It would seem that the French electorate stayed with him for quite a long time after his “policies started to come apart”! lol

    Don’t you just love these attempts to rewrite history?

  47. Socal

    “Wouldn’t they just chant ‘Ed!”?”

    Wasn’t that the Marie Antoinette chant?


    Alec your post crossed mine – yes I agree with your point about politicians saying anything to get elected, but if it does go badly in France, then I do think that would rub off on EM – after all it will make EB irrelevant as he espouses similar policies. And they are both in it together.

  48. @Crossbatt

    It was only 14 years due to the term length. Back then you got 7 years a President, he only won 2 elections. Nowadays he would have only got 10 years. The Conservative party in France however, has been in charge for the past 17 years, which would be 15 under current rules.

  49. @Robert Newark

    “once Angela bends his ear & the bond markets bring a touch of reality to bear.”

    Oh, here we go, we’re getting all London Mayoral now. Angela likes Nicolas but not Francois, gets on OK with Dave, couldn’t stand Silvio…………..

    I’d forgotten that first names were de rigueur in politics now! lol

  50. Maybe I should be hoping Hollande wins. As others suggest it would get people in the UK to think twice before voting for socialists. If France goes down the can under Hollande, I think Dave will be sitting pretty in 2015.

    Brits love to kick the french. (Sorry virgillio)

1 2 3 4 5