This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 29%, LAB 40%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 10%, Others 10%. While the eleven point lead for Labour is pretty typical of what YouGov have been showing this week, the 29% for the Conservatives is the first time YouGov have shown them dropping below 30% since October 2004, and the 10 points for UKIP is their highest. Normal caveats apply – it’s just one poll, sure, it may be the start of a decline into the 20s… or they may be right back above 30 in the next poll.

For most of the two years since the general election the Conservatives remained at or only just below the 36% they received in May 2010. Since the budget that support has finally started to crumble, with most polls showing the Conservatives dropping into the low thirties. However, a lot of that lost support seems to be going to smaller parties, rather than to Labour.

I’ll do a fuller report tomorrow when the tables are published.

UPDATE: There is also a poll for Lord Ashcroft in the Sunday Telegraph, looking at political attitudes of ethnic minorities. The survey shows what we’ve previously seen in the Ethnic Minority British Election Study – Labour have an overwhelming advantage amongst black voters, the Conservatives do slightly better (or at least, slightly less badly, given Labour still have a big advantage) amongst Asian voters and Hindus.

UPDATE2: Much more detail from the Ashcroft/Populus poll here.

125 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 29, LAB 40, LD 11, UKIP 10”

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  1. @ Crotale

    The most amazing thing about this poll is the 20% for non-LibLabCon.


    To be expected.

    The government looks a mess at the moment. But where are disaffected voters to turn?

    i. Labour have someone who is widely considered to be an uncharismatic leader – to judge by most comments on here – and were in office until only two years ago. They lost that election with a very low 29%. So people are not willing to return to them yet.

    ii. Mid-term it is no surprise to see people drifting from Con to UKIP.

    But come the General Election, a good number of them might well return to Con.

    Labour need to start picking up those disaffected Con voters. And they are not yet doing so in convincing numbers.

  2. Looking at the papers this morning, I think Hunt’s on the way out. There is a central issue now emerging regarding misleading parliament which is extremely difficult to defend and would trigger instant resignation.

    On March 3rd last year Hunt told the commons he would be “publishing all the documents relating to all the meetings – all the consultation documents, all the submissions we received, all the exchanges between my Department and News Corporation”.

    It’s clear from the Leveson inquiry that this didn’t happen, as his advisor’s communications were not made available. I’ve bounced this around within my brain a few times and I simply can’t see a single way that this cannot be deemed as misleading parliament. At the very least, he has unintentionally misled parliament, although it’s very hard to see how this stream of emails could have been overlooked. In another case, an apology might save his skin, but I doubt very much that his opponents would accept this.

    There is also now pressure on Cameron, with prima facie evidence that he too has broken the ministerial code by refusing to launch an investigation. My personal view is that this isn’t going to run for very much longer and Hunt will step down in the next few days, as he probably realises that he doesn’t have the support he needs to survive. I don’t think the government can hold the line that there will be an investigation after Leveson – have they any idea how long Leveson will take to report? They cannot hold off for this length of time and leave a damaged minister festering on the front bench without comprehensively lancing the boil.


    @”it’s a plague on all their houses and they are all the same.”

    Yes-across EU we are seeing this. THe Greek elections are shaping up to reveal a real flight to the extremes.

    We were bound to catch something of this movement-but we are not in EZ, so still have economic salvation in our own hands.

    GO -& DC this morning-have studiously avoided any suggestion that QI as per ONS is neither accurate ( it never is on first estimate) , nor indicative of underlying trends. But there are such indications. If they are correct , the three years this Government has left to demonstrate a rebalanced, private sector driven economy could be enough to change VI.

    Meanwhile, I’m pleased to see DC in typically combative mode on Marr.

    Educational & Welfare reforms are rolling out. NHS back to implementation phase too.

    Cardinals may wring manicured , be-ringed hands ,from plush sedentary positions about the plight of the “poor” who have to sell their “holiday homes”-but the defenders status quo will always be in their armchairs.

  4. The other thing about Labour including under Blair and Brown, although it got blurred toward the end…they meant to make a fairer society. You can argue with a lot of stuff, but they had a plan and they has (some) underlying aims and principles.

    Cameron and Osborne seem to me to have a “roll back the state, cut public spending” plan, in which it is assumed that if they do that, in some way the private sector will rise up and sort the country and the world out. That’s looking sadly non-interventionist and counter-productive now as the west is in economic crisis.

    I think slowly Europe will turn to the left…but if they don’t see a solution we might see major gains for Fascists. So Ed and his Euro counterparts better get it right next time out.

  5. AW/RobS

    Aye. That’ll teach me to post smart-arse responses whilst trying to play with my 5 year old (who, incidentally, has just informed me that I think I know everything but I don’t…)

    “Iraq” as a signifier for the perceived illiberalism of New Labour is still, IMO, an important political factor for Labour though. In trying to expand its vote, Labour would have to square a circle of pleasing both the liberal LD-dabblers, and the illiberal working class voters that it has lost o et the past generation (look at the C2DE support for UKIP). Labour would need to be both pro and anti multiculturalism. Pro and anti immigrant. Pro and anti EU/ECHR.

    That would be a tough task for the most towering political colossus, and towering political colossi(?) are conspicuous by their absence these days.

    Which is why I consider it both unrealistic and probably counter-productive to expect Labour to break through above its 40-45% VI figure. Labour’s best hope is to make sure that it satisfies and secures at least SOME of it’s fringe supporters, rather than attempting to be all things to all voters and not convince any of them.

  6. Colin,
    I agree DC was good on Marr this morning and a good finesse to say there may be more action on Hunt after the evidence to Levison (under oath to a QC etc).

    He only seemed troubled with the bit about his duties, to paraphrase, Marr said it says’the PM will refer to the code watchdog’ DC said it was his prerogative; I thought this a little vague and was wanting Marr to follow up, he did not but others will I think.
    BTW, I thought Marr spent too long on Hunt would liked to had more on the Economy, Liam Fox ideas etc, but then I would I suppose.

  7. ALEC

    @” have they any idea how long Leveson will take to report? They cannot hold off for this length of time ”

    THey don’t intend to do so.

    Marr put this to DC this morning.

    THe answer appears to be -if the Leveson questioning , under oath, indicates that Hunt has not told the truth about his knowledge of the SPAD’s emails-DC will act against him.

    In answer to Marr’s point that the Ministerial Coded states that Ministers are resonsible for the actions of their advisers in any event, DC’s response appeared to be :-

    No investigation I could ask for by civil servants could better a testimony under oath in front of a judge.

    Previous administrations have not required Ministers to resign as a result of the transgressions of their advisers.

    Personally-I was less happy with DC ( on Marr) on this issue than I was with his defence of economic policy.

    He gave a categoric rebuttal of a “grand plan” to set things up for Murdoch.

    People will make their own minds up.

  8. JIM JAM


    I agree totally with your comments.


    ‘However, Labour has in no way, shape or form outlined a credible alternative yet. Their lead is very soft in my view, and won’t solidify until they offer a substantial vision of what they would do, rather than what we know at the moment what they don’t like (partially)’

    Frankly, I can’t remember any party ever properly presenting its programme before the election or having it fairly reported in the media. Never, ever seen a ‘substantial vision’ from any party. Usually, if they have any vision for the future, they try to hide it from the voters. At least that is my understanding of it all, based on experience.

    I can remember Thatcher’s election victories and they were based on tax cuts, outrageous lies about Labour and misleading the electorate. Her claim to support ‘free collective bargaining’ in the 79 election, without saying just how harshly she would deal with trade union members – the laws making FCB a joke – sticks in the mind as a gross deception.

    The 83 election was based on a media traduction of Labour’s programme and a campaign of vilification against dear old Michael Foot. The so-called ‘longest suicide note in history (thanks Gerald, we’ll ring you) was less radical than either of the 74 manifestos which promised industrial democracy and a ‘fundamental shift in the balance of wealth and power in favour of working people and their families’. However, the victories in 74 were never described in terms as the ‘final victory of socialism’, while the 83 election was readily and repeatedly described as its utter, final defeat.

  10. NICKP

    @Cameron and Osborne seem to me to have a “roll back the state, cut public spending” plan, in which it is assumed that if they do that, in some way the private sector will rise up and sort the country and the world out. ”

    That is to put it in a simplified , cynical way.

    You are of course entitled to do that-and I realise that your background & beliefs are wedded to the idea that economies can only effectively be grown by The State Sector.

    But there is a perfectly articulated economic belief that a public sector consuming beyond a given proportion of GDP , militates against private sector growth.

    I won’t rehearse the reasons behind this thinking-we would have endless futile disagreement on it.

    But the proposition you dispute is not universally disputed.

    By the way, many people are saying that so far from being “non-interventionist” this government is doing the opposite.

    It all depends on whether you view intervention to break down State monopoly as “non-interventionist” :-) :-)

  11. colin

    “Articulating” a belief doesn’t seem to include providing any evidence (see “Laffer Curve”).

    The proof is in the pudding being wolfed.

    We are in double dip recession and the City and the cheerleaders for the “articulated belief” are now saying the figures on GDP for Q1 can’t be right…because, presumably, they don’t fit in with the articulated belief.

    Ed Balls was right and the articulated belief has been piloted here and proved wrong.

  12. Colin,

    But there is a perfectly articulated economic belief that a public sector consuming beyond a given proportion of GDP , militates against private sector growth.

    I’m sure there is, but do you have any evidence for the belief?

    I’ve never seen a properly articulated explanation of why this should be.

    In my opinion, and with no actual detailed argument in support or any proof of what you say, it is just a convenient ‘ideology’ that allows capital to loot the public wealth.

  13. NICKP

    Ummm–the private sector has created 600k jobs since GE-it’s not enough yet obviously.

    Export Manufacturers like Bamfords are going well-it’s not enough yet obviously.

    UK auto industry is doing well-inward investment growing-jobs being created-its not enough yet obviously.

    THe appalling skills gap will be tackled by interventionist welfare to work programmes, & enhanced apprenticeship programmes-this will take time obviously.

    THe poor educational standards behind the skills gap are being tackled by supply side & curricular reforms in education-these are generational problems obviously.

    But i agree-the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. I believe that it will begin to taste less bitter as it matures :-)

  14. @Colin – re your point regarding Q1 not necessarily being indicative of trends – I actually think it probably is. I posted a few days ago on this and don’t think I got much response, but for a long time now I’ve noticed several cases of disappointing GDP numbers where people were expecting better, based on the PMI survey data, whereas the real data is significantly worse.

    We saw it in Q1, where PMI data for Feb/Mar looked quite strong in manufacturing, but actual output data from the ONS was much worse.

    I’ve pondered several times on here before whether there is systemically something wrong with the way PMI data is gathered – are optimistic companies more likely to respond to the survey, or does the fact that it’s a purchase manager’s survey mean that a very large group of small companies who don’t have a PM are not included in the survey, possibly distorting the result?

    I don’t know the answers, but we had a very similar set of results in the 2 quarters before the GE, when Labour were hoping for decent growth, the PMI numbers looked OK, but the GDP figures were very disappointing.

    In terms of Q1, I think the result is very consistent with measured trends. Investment and business lending has been collapsing for a considerable time now, which is a very good leading indicator. The last unemployment figures appeared better, but the wholesale switch to part time working shows a much weaker business environment as firms hedge their bets.

    On the subject of exports, the money supply contractions across the Eurozone are truly terrifying. This is being greatly hampered by the counter cyclical demand from the EZ governments for banks to increase their Tier 1 capital ratios, which is grossly badly timed and is adding to the austerity packages and forcing banks to deleverage with catastrophic results in the real economy.

    While you say that there is some evidence that Q1 underlying trends are counter to the actual figures, it is worth remembering that back in Jan/Feb most observers were suggesting that Q1 would be positive, but that there were developing issues around Q2.

  15. @Colin – your point re private sector jobs growth is perfectly valid, but we do need to remember this is predominately part time jobs. Another factor always overlooked when discussing jobs growth figures is that since the GE the UK population will have expended by around 600,000 people.

    A fairly hefty level of jobs growth is needed just to keep pace with this – so job creation at a certain level only means effective stasis in economic terms.

  16. Colin,

    That is hardly proof of an economic truth. A selection of current economic indicators hardly validates an entire theory for all economic circumstances. It must seem pretty thin even to you. Where are the academic surveys and studies? Where are the fully articulated arguments on your side?

    In fact, if it was true we would not have had any growth between 45 and the mid 70s – a time when the economy was more or less fixed in size compared with today’s open borders for capital and labour. But what we see from that period is continued above trend growth with a large and growing public sector as part of the economy.

    How do you explain that? Surely, the private sector should have perished under the weight of the ‘non-productive’ public sector, which actually produced huge chunks of GDP all by itself. This combination saw a general rise in living standards and many other generous social benefits from sharing wealth and capital ownership.

    That’s all in living memory and no one has ever experienced the sort of society you want to create or seen any actual benefits from it. So why exactly do you want to create it? How would we all benefit from a ‘small state’? What would happen to people who don’t inherit wealth and don’t have a great deal of ability? Would they be left to sink?

  17. @Alex

    @Colin – your point re private sector jobs growth is perfectly valid, but we do need to remember this is predominately part time jobs.


    And isn’t it likely that these jobs are relatively low paid and the people in them will no longer be eligible for tax credts?.

    And these tax credits didn’t end up in savings accounts but were spent for the benefit of the local economy?

  18. What would happen to people who don’t inherit wealth and don’t have a great deal of ability? Would they be left to sink?

    Maybe they’d all end up in domestic service or shining shoes in railway stations.

    My grandmother used to do other people’s washing by hand, even tho’ she had six young children of her own. Ah the good old days! 8-)

  19. Alec and Colin,

    I’ve looked at ONS table EMP02. The 600,000 figure does not stand up. The private sector employment growth from June 2010 to Dec 2011 was 320,000. If you also add in the growth of 314,000 between March 2010 and June 2010 you get to somewhere over 600,000, but this is bogus because general election was in May and Osborne’s first budget on 22 June!

    So half of the figure Colin is quoting is squarely due to Alistair Darling’s stimulus-induced recovery, before the Osborne policies hit growth on the head.

    There was comment somewhere that the paradox of good PMI data, bad ONS data is because exports have fallen, and the PMI index does not measure exports. So the PMI index is not capturing the full story.

  20. MIKEMS

    @”we would not have had any growth between 45 and the mid 70s – ….. what we see from that period is continued above trend growth with a large and growing public sector as part of the economy.”

    These are the numbers-make of them what you will:-

    Sequence is :-
    Years period
    Average annual % increase in Nominal GDP in period.
    Average anuual % inflation in period
    Average annual % real increase in GDP in period
    Average annual % Public Expenditure to GDP

    1945/50. 6.08%. 4.72%. 1.36%. 45.6%.
    1951/60 6.92%. 4.05%. 2.87%. 36.2%
    1961/70 7.12% 4.06%. 3.06%. 40.3%
    1971/80 16.28%. 13.69%. 2.59%. 43.7%
    1981/90 9.36%. 6.55%. 2.81%. 40.3%
    1991/00 5.52%. 3.02%. 2.50%. 37.4%
    2001/10 4.10% 2.87%. 1.23%. 39.1%

  21. @hal – have you got any more detail on the PMI data and exports? I didn’t pick that up but it has interested me for a while.

    I would have thought that PMI data should pick up exports as well though, as it is a survey of businesses, so ought to cover anyone involved in exports as well, but I’ll certainly look at any evidence.

    I was also looking at Hamish McRae in the Indy, saying that we are probably not in recession. This is partly based on past corrections to GDP estimates and the fact that the first estimates were consistently under reporting from 1999 – 2009. There isn’t any analysis why this occurred, and just because something happens in the past doesn’t mean it will always happen.

    He also quotes the Goldman Sach’s index of activity – a new measure which includes business survey data, and this suggests weak growth.

    However, if the PMI data is over optimistic, this would distort the GS index.

    Personally, I’m not surprised we have seen growth decline, and I’m currently expecting it get a lot worst with the collapse of lending in Europe – even in places like Holland.

  22. [snipped ad hominem], I suspect that Iraq isn’t so much of a direct issue any more, largely because most of the current leadership wasn’t around at the time. You can bet it would have been if David Miliband was leader, particularly given the Belhaj revelations.

    Nevertheless it still casts a shadow. I suspect it’s one of the factors in the cross breaks that show that Labour supporters are less likely to express confidence in their party or leadership. The Labour right likes to attribute this to “Ed Miliband being rubbish.” I think that the reality is that the past decade has left them jaded and they’re slower to trust leading figures without demonstration.

  23. @lefty


    As AW noticed I was referring to Iraq no longer being an issue as RAF was claiming.

    Both anecdotally and in OP ‘key issues’ questions.

    Only still number one issue with people like Galloway and those that think like him (several ‘labour’ posters on here) and of course certain demographic constituencies,

  24. Thanks, Amber. I’d forgotten that I had actually registered, so I’m now logged in, but still can’t fathom out how to do the background?

  25. Testing testing….

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