Full tables for the YouGov poll for the Sunday Times are now up here, mostly covering attitudes towards the coalition.

On the regular leader ratings David Cameron has a net approval rating of minus 29 (up from minus 31 last week), Nick Clegg is on minus 54 (from minus 57 last week). Ed Miliband is on minus 23, this is up from minus 33 last week (conducted mostly before the local election results), suggesting Labour’s gains at the local elections have resulted in a big boost to the proportion of people who think that Miliband is doing a good job. If you leave aside his brief honeymoon period after first being elected Labour leader, this is only the second time that the net proportion of people thinking Ed Miliband is doing well has been higher than David Cameron in YouGov’s weekly ratings (the previous time was after hackgate broke in July 2011).

(I was going to write a longe piece on polling on leaders today, but time has rather run away with me – hence the rather short and belated summary today!)

Turning to the rest of the poll 25% of people think the coalition is good for the country, 64% bad for the country (which, as you’d expect, closely echoes normal government approval figures). YouGov also asked if the coalition is good or bad for the two parties involved. 38% think it is good for the Conservatives, 50% bad. 22% think it is good for the Lib Dems, 66% bad.

Looking at party supporters themselves. 62% of Conservatives think the coalition is good for the country, but they are pretty evenly split over whether it is good for the Tory party – 49% think it is, 47% think it isn’t. Contrast this with the attitude of Liberal Democrat supporters: again, the majority (57%) think it is good for the country but they think is it bad for the Liberal Democrats by 59% to 37%.

Asked about the future of the coalition, the majority (62%) of people now expect it to last either up to the election (34%) or until just before it (28%). Asked how long they would like it to last there is a different pattern. Unsurprisingly most Labour supporters would like it to end immediately, however, there are also substantial minorities of Conservative supporters (26%) and Lib Dem supporters (18%) who would like the coalition to end now.

Asked what they think the result of the next election will be, we find a delightful (albeit, unsurprising) display of cognitive bias. People who would like the Conservatives to win largely think they will; people who would like the Labour party to win overwhelmingly think they will. Even for the Liberal Democrats, a loyal quarter of their supporters think the party will retain or even increase their current number of seats.

174 Responses to “More from the YouGov/Sunday Times poll”

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  1. @CHRISLANE1945
    “I have a question. Can anyone explain why people feel let down by the Liberal Democrats, and appear to be going to Labour?
    I do not really understand it.”

    Chris, I will fall for your mischief making and give you my views as an ex LD voter and now a Labour Party member. The Liberal Democrats took my vote by lying to me. Although they had decided to cut faster and harder before the election, they told me that they would cut slowly over a longer period because they knew if they told me the truth I would not have voted for them.

  2. @ Colin

    Leveson today has indeed been ‘wonderful’.

    1. Gus O’Donnell has been told to provide security clearance levels for Andy Coulson’s predecessors & those who came after. If Coulson was treated differently than all others who had the same role, apparently it is a “smoking gun”; &
    2. Gus O’Donnell has reluctantly – but without any real wiggle room – confirmed that Adam Smith (super-spad) was Hunt’s responsibility.

    And the Speaker has confirmed that parliament is ‘sovereign’ above the Leveson inquiry. Hunt needs to answer questions in the HoC; he cannot refuse to answer on the grounds that he will give his statement to Leveson.

  3. LIZH

    @”as an ex LD voter and now a Labour Party member. ”

    Liz-hope you don’t mind me asking-When you were a LD voter, why did you vote for them?

    Was it in expectation of LDs being in government , or was it purely a protest vote ?

    If the former-was your wish only to see a LibLab pact-or did you not object to a LibCon pact in principle?

    If the latter , what stopped you voting Labour-or was it a protest at a Labour administration?

    If you feel this intrusive-please ignore it.


    `Gus O’Donnell has been told to provide security clearance levels for Andy Coulson’s predecessors & those who came after`

    An extract of Damien Mcbride`s developed vetting (DV) interview has been published in the Guardian…I think it goes to some extent to show why some thought that getting DV for Coulson would be an unnecessary expense.

  5. AMBER

    Thank you.

    So kind to keep me up to date :-)

  6. @ Colin

    Yes, I’m quite the little newshound. ;-)

  7. @Colin

    I have been a regular LD voter after the first term of TB’s reign i.e. from 2001. Previous to that I have voted Labour, Liberal or Green. I liked the fact that you could vote for a party with principles. I never expected the LDs to become a party in government but always to be there as a thorn in the side of any government to ensure they are kept in check.

    As a left leaning voter, I would not have agreed with a Coalition with the Tory Party but would not have objected to a S & C agreement. I am appalled how the LDs have given up on all their principles and have no red lines that they would not cross. I don’t buy the line we are the minority party with only 50 seats etc.

    If the LDs had before the election, revealed truthfully what they stood for, I would not have voted for them even though they were the only party in my constituency that could probably defeat the Tories.

    At the next election I intend to vote Labour unless a doctor from the NHA party stands here. The doctors will very carefully target seats so they will only stand here if they think they can win. Labour will not necessarily win here but a doctor might. As the LDs have lost a lot of support, if doctors don’t stand here, Labour has a good chance of getting second place and you never know at the 2020 election they might even take the seat.

  8. @CHRISLANE1945

    I think what lizh expressed is a fair comment, if the truth had been told… we are different from other parties and politicians… hmmm
    There is quite a long list, and yes I was one of those voting lefties on LDV asking for explanations?

    But no longer trying to talk to a dead horse… realised it was a dead horse… lol

    If you really want to understand you only have to go and read the 2010 archives on LDV to see why…


  9. I found Leveson particularly engrossing today after it occurred to me to have dramatic music playing simultaneously in another tab on the computer. The soundtrack from “The Dark Knight” was particularly effective as Robert Jay took on Joker Campbell. (I wonder if we’ll ever find out Jay’s real identity.)

    Tomorrow I might try “Carmina Burana”.

  10. @LizH

    “Even TB is now backing his economic policy”

    How can he be when Ed Balls does not have one yet?!

    A five point sound bite is not a policy: though LFI leading light Rachel Reeves does her best on TV with it- good performer (another of the 2010 intake who should get the nod over YC).

    “DM was good as Foreign Secretary and that post will suit him well.”

    Yep- but be careful or you might upset a few people on here who are under the delusion that DM is a torturer/ the Antichrist/ a -whisper it- Blairite….

    Speaking of whom…..


    “i) Labour needs to come forward with some policies and ii) When they do this, they will lose more support than when not having policies. So best not to have any policies then?”

    Is it illogical or merely wilful to misinterpret someone as often as you do!!

    Let me spell it out for you.

    Labour need to set out their policies long ahead of a potential election (and it is by no means certain that we have untill May 2015…) in order to take as long as they possibly can to convince as many people as possible of their appropriateness-here’s hoping what the two Eds finally come up with is appropriate!!

    The average voter should be utterly and completely unsurprised by anything that is in the next Labour manifesto- they should have heard about it at least 12 months before the election occurred (preferably even longer).

    If the policy platform *does* represent the kind of social democratic centrist position that IMO is needed for a chance at an OM, Labour are going to – probably but not inevitably- lose some of the ‘petulant left’ vote that (effectively) voted in the coalition by backing Clegg or the greens at the 2010 election- the sorts of people who were SO annoyed by what Ed Balls said in January. These are people who since ConLib have swung back behind Ed and believe the ‘we have our party back’ rhetoric of some observers.

    With detailed policies (especially cuts lite/ slower deficit correction) Labour will also initially lose some non aligned voters as they get monster’ed by the media and the commentariat (for being ‘tax and spend happy’ / ‘same old Labour’ etc)- a media who will have become bored of happy slapping Dave and Nick and will now have something meaty from Labour to get their fangs into. Labour needs to give them as many months (preferably years) as possible to wear themselves out.


    1) Labour need policies out ASAP and in detail to avoid their appearance as vapid and consisting merely of sound bites and phrases;
    2) to do so will initially lose them VI points in the polls (from left and non aligned voters);
    3) but getting it all out early will give enough time to win the argument- biggest mistake that Cameron made was staying policy lite right up till the GE of 2010. Nothing to learn from his approach, ditto neither Blair in 1995-1997 whom Cameron foolishly thought he should copy.


    BTW the probability empirically is that there will be at least some swing back to the Tories- not of Eoinesque proportions but certainly some.

    Labours lead is soft.

    @Paul Bristol

    “I have never been able to understand this war criminal nonsense regarding TB”

    Careful or you’ll upset many posters on here who’d have Blair in the dock in Den Haag quicker than you can say ‘triangulation’ or ‘Bush’s poodle’ ;-)


    “2. More likely, offer a ‘cast iron’ guarantee of a referendum, if they are returned to power after 2015.”

    h ttp://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/euro-referendum-part-of-tories-election-plans-mp-claims-1-2293705

    Cameron will have to take a side there. Frankly if he goes with the referendum he wins lots of UKIP votes and shuts up the right of his party.

    Having said all that, Miliband will have to take a side, and I’ll bet he won’t offer a cast iron anything this side of 2015.

  12. Statgeek

    *IF* Dave does offer a post GE Europe referendum then EdM will not have any choice but to do the same.

    If the next election is fought with only the Tories offering a referendum on Europe then they will get an OM.

    OK now to BBC2 and Dennis and Jim 8-)

  13. IF Coulson had indeed received Developed Vetting and perhaps not passed it,then Cameron would have saved himself a whole lot of bother

  14. I’m amazed that someone couldn’t understand why people were deserting the lib dems.
    Quite plainly these people were voting lib dem as an alternative anti-tory vote – and the lib dems going into coaltion with the hated tories has driven many of them back to a (seemingly less blarite) labour party.

    Its interesting that a quarter of lib dems voters in the you gov poll expect their party to keep most of their seats inthe next election – I dont think they realise just how visceral the hatred at Clegg is for what they see as his ‘betrayal’. These are not ‘floating voters’ with weak part alliegences who may drift back – they are not coming back whatever Clegg does.
    The only thing that might save the lib dems from oblivion is if they ditch clegg, bring down the coalition and firmaly state they will not join a coalition with the tories. Yet even though this is obvious to many, no lib dems have woken up this reality. Even being beaten by a penguin, and coming a very very poor 4th in the london mayoral poll has not made them come to their senses.
    Next may the lib dems suffer yet more catostrophic losses in the local elections – wether this will spur them into actionr remains to be seen.

    What this also means is that the split in the the anti-tory leftish vote that has been a feature of british politics since 1982 has come to an end. labour no longer needs to ‘traingulate’ and woo daily mail readers in key marginals.

    In addition the ongoing crises that started in 2008 is polorising politics. Easy certainities about economic growth and ever rising living standrads have been seriously undermined.

    Given this the labour party should have nothing to do with Blair or his fellow travllers. They are in a positon where they can fight better conditions for ordinary people and not have to kow tow to the square mile or the lieks of murdoch.
    Of course they wont win many votes from disgruntled tories this way – but they may well win over some of the many millions of voters who no longer vote at all.

    I doubt they will – because the overriding temptaion will be to play it safe, not frighten the horses and sit back and watch the coalition dig itself further into a hole.

  15. @LizH

    Snap – almost. I didn’t vote at all in 2001. Maybe I should have spoilt my ballot instead?

    What I really liked about the LDs was that they believed in constititional change, like a federal UK, and a wholly elected House of Lords. There was something profoundly democratic about them, not present in the other main parties. They also fundamentally respected the rule of law domestically and internationally. And stood against detention without trial, rendition and other nasties.

    I also felt (as many do) that left, right anf faux third way solutions were not the answer, and that a balanced approach was necessary.

    I’m not saying the LDs offered all of that, but a lot of it.

    If I have a political regret of epic proportions, it was voting.for.Clegg in the LD leadership election, against the outstanding Simon Hughes (although I forget whether he’d pulled out by then).

  16. It will be interesting to see the new Labour policy strategy.

    One possible reason for delay is that the Tory/Lib Dem coalition are notably policy wonk light, and over reliant on prepackaged imput from lobbyists. Any techical fixes offered by Labour’s front bench would be hungrily tweaked and appropriated.

    The occassional hint has cranked up anticipation levels (a recent spate of break-ins to Ed’s policy office suggests that someone is getting impatient). The longer the wait, the bigger the risk of an anticlimax, however, if there is an ambitious, intellectually coherent new vision, it could create quite a sensation when it is eventually unveiled… timing will be everything.

  17. @RAF

    As you voted in the LD leadership elections, I am assuming you joined the party. Until recently I was not a member of any party. I joined the Labour Party after and because EdM was elected leader and also to make a point to the LibDems that they will never get my vote again. I had a feeling and not based on any evidence that EdM would deliver the new kind of politics that NC promised but failed to deliver.

    Just heard that Labour has a 14 point lead – the biggest lead since regular polling began in 2002. EdM is turning out to be a huge boon for Labour.

  18. YouGov/Sun poll tonight: Labour have a 14-point lead, biggest in a decade. LAB 45%, CON 31%, UKIP 8%, LDEM 7% …

  19. Doing nicely. 14 points. More from Leveson tomorrow. Now for a brandy.

  20. I personally don’t mind a referendum on in or out of Europe, but details about each outcome would have to be clear and given to the public well before hand…

    and that includes asking Europe what the cost would be, before the referendum takes place…(I am pro Europe) and asking all businesses/investors with Europe links/ties what their course of action will be if the UK stepped out of Europe

    Out of Europe altogether referendum (very risky) nightmare

    Or Europe lite ((like Norway) risky)… all needs to be clear beforehand… no hidden agenda’s

    The people deserve to know and understand what it will mean to them and the country well before any referendum…


  21. LIZ

    Thank you very much for replying so honestly.

    I found it very interesting.

  22. RS

    @”OK now to BBC2 and Dennis and Jim”

    It was all fascinating-such memories……and parallels .

  23. Did anyone watch a BBC2 programme on the Seventies last night, about some senior UK general who planned a coup?

  24. @Liz

    Yes, I was briefly a member of the LDs, when Charles and then Ming were in charge.

    Never have belonged to a party before or since. I think the trigger was the arch warmonger PM of the day stating to those of us about to attend the largest UK demo in living memory, that if we did so we would have blood on our hands.

    It was very bold of the LDs to.oppose the Iraq war.

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