Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 9%. The ten point Labour lead, while big compared to most of the Parliament so far, is actually the lowest from YouGov for almost a fortnight. It is well within the margin of error of a Labour lead of twelve points though, so far too early to take it as a sign Labour’s post-local election boost is subsiding at all.


127 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 32, LAB 42, LD 9, UKIP 9”

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  1. @MARK WATSON
    Thank you for your “right on” opinion. Mine is totally different. Furthermore, I get very fed up with the word “BIGOT” being bandied about by the left. As a poster pointed out last week on this site, the fascism of race and
    sexuality being forced down everyone’s throat (no pun intended ) is real bigotry.

  2. @Paula Thomas

    Unless I’ve missed some of your posts in the past, in which case apologies, I seem to think that you may be a new poster. On the evidence of your contribution above, I have a feeling that you will be a great addition to the discussions we have on polling matters.

    This isn’t just idle flattery, by the way, but a view based on the fact that I just happen to agree with about every word of your last post!

    Welcome to UKPR!

  3. While I want to take a certain theoretical re-assurance from what appears to be continued evidence that counter-cyclical investment works (or rather, cyclical investment doesn’t), there are a couple of things that should spring out from these revised figures:

    1) The difference between 0.2 and 0.3 is small. This is not an exact science. We probably shouldn’t set our hair on fire. One would expect visitors to this site not to get too excited in small shifts.

    2) The BBC reports that this includes a 1.6% increase in government spending, the largest since the first quarter of 2008. You might be inclined to say that this spending is linked to U-Turns on aircraft carriers and definitely-not-top-down-re-organisations in the NHS, but whatever the cause, the rhetoric and action on government spending do not seem to match.

  4. @TROFIMOVSPOCKETWATCH

    “The difference between 0.2 and 0.3 is small. This is not an exact science. We probably shouldn’t set our hair on fire. One would expect visitors to this site not to get too excited in small shifts.”

    I think the hair-lighting, if any such exotic behaviour has indeed occurred, might be more to do with the fact that the informed expectation was that the Quarter 1 growth figures would be revised upwards and not downwards. Some economic forecasters actually thought that the revision upwards may have been sufficient for the Government to claim that we weren’t actually in a double-dip recession at all. I agree with you that a revision from 0.2 to 0.3% negative growth is not particularly economically significant but I think it may be politically.

  5. Paula

    I thought in the 1983 election, the Cons were helped more by having part of the Labour party split off into a new party, as much as a Falklands boost..

  6. Good afternnon all.

    There was a very interesting and gloomy debate on radio 5 live at 11.30 ish today, with an economist forecasting a 20 year depression, economically.

    In terms of current politics, I agree that the latest 0.1 variation is probably bad news symbolically and psychologically for the Government.

  7. I thought the recent polling showed the majority in the UK was okay with same sex marriage?

  8. @trofimovspocketwatch, crossbat11

    A 0.1% difference actually is significant on quarterly GDP growth.

    Between Q2 1997 and Q1 2008 GDP growth ranged only between 0.1% and 1.4%.

    Incidentally, this period was also the longest stretch of stable GDP growth in at least the last 50 years.

  9. Just to emphasise my point,
    there was but a 1.5% swing to Con but a 11% swing to the alliance and 9.3% away from Labour.

  10. HOWARD.
    Absolutely right.

    My students in Basildon put in my classoom the Tory Poster with the Labour and CPGB manifesto promises side by side.

    Dark days indeed.

  11. UK governments don’t have a greAT

  12. @Chrislane1945

    Who was that very annoying and shouty “economist” anyway? As soon as he likened the economy to a household budget he lost any remaining credibility for me. If, by any miracle, he is reading this: SHOUTING LOUDLY DOESN’T MAKE YOU RIGHT

  13. @Roly1

    “The forces of Conservatism are destroyed and the Marxist /Leninist workers Utopia is at hand.”

    I was hoping for a bit of Hoxha-lite Maoism, to be honest, but I suppose I’ll have to settle for second best again.

  14. Well, I’ll take half a bow on the GDP revision. When the ONS came out with these figures that well below expectations that were themselves largely based on Markit/CIPS PMI survey returns, I posted at the time about my suspicions that the PMI surveys were finding some systemic errors, possibly based on more confident businesses being more prone to reply to surveys, or businesses reflecting general media expectations in their summaries.

    The pattern of Q1 data had already shown reasonably good PMI monthly data, followed by distinctly less flattering ONS ‘real’ figures, and indeed this pattern was repeated in the first estimate, and now in the revision.

    I’m assuming that Markit have a well developed sampling methodology, so I assume there shouldn’t be a consistent sample bias, but I do think that there may be a distortion creeping in from general sentiment and received wisdom about what the economy is doing.

    It may be that PMI surveys are picking up confidence which reflects the current media chat, whereas the ONS are capturing real life data. Either way, I did raise my doubts at the time that we would see an upwards revision, and indeed it is so.

  15. mark watson

    To vote no to gay marriage is bigoted and prejudiced. It is depressing that this vote to extend the same marriage rights to all loving couples is now a bigot’s charter, er, free vote.

    I think you’re wrong here. People may hold particular views without being bigoted or prejudiced against the individuals affected by those views. In this particular case I think those views are wrong and that those that hold them have difficulty in defending them without ending up resorting to being bigoted. But that’s because those views are logically, morally and historically incoherent, not because those who hold them are bigoted to start with. I’m afraid most people don’t think their opinions through.

    I also think it’s a good idea to give all Parties a free vote on such issues. I actually think this is an important principle that has served liberals well in the past, but apart from anything else it means that the more reactionary elements won’t be able to play the martyr as poor, persecuted victims supporting the real will of the people. Of course they are none of these things, but that won’t stop them drama-queening all over the Telegraph otherwise.

    On a free vote I would expect a Bill to pass the Commons quite easily. Labour and Lib Dems will vote massively in favour and there will be many more than enough Tories genuinely supporting to carry it. What it shouldn’t become is a test of strength for Cameron against his backbenchers, because might actually tempt Labour to find a way not to back it.

  16. BillyBob I like your question
    ”That is not to say that world historical shifts are not always occuring, which gives more or less scope for progressive policies, and affects the broader left/right orientation of political parties.”
    We had a similar discussion a few weeks ago when I suggested that the Labour Party was more centrist in the last 2 decades in response to the 1992 GE defeat and that the UK (as a whole entity Old Nat) had moved rightwards politically speaking.

    So as the political centre of gravity of a nation shifts the body politic reflects it and only occassionally (as with the Thatcher/Attlee periods Governments leads the shift, although in both cases the war and the winter of discontent were also catalysts).

    We have seen this socially in more a liberal (I would say progressive) centre of gravity in the last 25 years something the cons were slow to recognise as were labour were on the Economic rightward shift.

    It may be that a similar initially modest but perceptable leftward tilt is or will occur as a response to the imperfections of capitalism not being managed well in recent years; if so the politcal parties will move accordingly.

  17. @RM

    “that’s because those views are logically, morally and historically incoherent, not because those who hold them are bigoted to start with. I’m afraid most people don’t think their opinions through.”

    Aren’t you effectively describing bigotry? Holding discriminatory opinions or attitudes with no thought-through basis (i.e. based on prejudice)?

  18. Incidentally (and I’m surprised more fuss hasn’t been made about this) the outline of the actual proposals currently up for consultation states:

    civil partnership registrations on religious premises will continue as is currently possible i.e. on a voluntary basis for faith groups and with no religious content

    While it is sensible that the law can specify that there should be no religious content when civil marriages take place on (local) state premises, this means that Parliament can and will continue to be able to dictate what can and cannot be included in particular ceremonies conducted on religious premises. True for historical reasons it has nominal control over some activities of the Church of England, but no one has ever suggested that it should control what other religions should practice.

    Once this principle has been accepted, there’s nothing to prevent it being extended. Laws could be passed that Catholic Masses only be conducted by naked women or that all Muslim ceremonies involve the worship of a giant butter model of George Osborne. Morally neither religion could complain because they did not do so when Parliament passed laws dictating the religious content of Civil Partnership ceremonies conducted in say Quaker Meeting Houses.

    Furthermore I can’t see why such religions that wish to, shouldn’t able to conduct marriages in these circumstances in the exactly same way they can for non-same sex couples with as little or as much religious content as required. Of course the law may stipulate a certain minimum legal content for the ceremony, but the rest of it should be up to whatever those involved (including the religion) want.

    Now surely is the time for the religions to stand up and demand the abolition of this ban on “religious content” which strikes against the very idea of freedom of worship.

  19. Also Crossbat I like your summary at 1020 but think your last para is a bit optminstic; another month of Tory scores in the early 30s is no time at all.
    Stay that way in to 2014 with lab above 40 then maybe something significant has occurred.

  20. @JimJam – So as the political centre of gravity of a nation shifts the body politic reflects it and only occassionally (as with the Thatcher/Attlee periods Governments leads the shift, although in both cases the war and the winter of discontent were also catalysts).”

    I recall some recent data that (I think) AW covered here, showing that during the 1979 – 97 period, general political attitudes shifted leftwards, while from 1997 – 2010 they moved rightwards.

    I guess by implication this probably means that political parties do indeed lead public opinion, largely through demonstrating how poor they are and making people believe the opposite of what they are trying to achieve……

  21. robin

    Aren’t you effectively describing bigotry? Holding discriminatory opinions or attitudes with no thought-through basis (i.e. based on prejudice)?

    No there’s a subtle difference. Such views might stem from bigotry, but in most cases I suspect they are just “received opinion” from education, parental influence, the media or whatever.

    This may explain the incredible change in opinion there has been on this topic as shown in polling. It’s too great to be a generational matter or just because of external influence – an awful lot of people must have examined their views (probably for the first time), realised they didn’t make much sense, and changed them. Of course it easier to do this with a topic that doesn’t actually affect your life much directly as will be the case with most people.

  22. ROGER MEXICO.

    Thank you for an excellent post.

    The idea of Mass being conducted by naked women is a challenging one.

    Numbers at Mass are beginning to rise, so maybe the innovation will accelerate the trend.

    On a serious note, I agree that church leaders have often been dilatory in defending their positions. However, Labour lost a great deal of votes to other parties over schools issues.

  23. @RM @Robin

    I’m opposed to gay marriage, and could give you a very coherent, thought through explaination of my position. But you wouldn’t agree with it. I am being no more discriminatory than in reaching a view on any matter where there are arguments on both sides. A decision is by definition a choice. That choice involves discrimination.

  24. Alec,
    Re ‘I recall some recent data that (I think) AW covered here, showing that during the 1979 – 97 period, general political attitudes shifted leftwards, while from 1997 – 2010 they moved rightwards’.

    My guess this data is a reaction to specific policies being introduced by first a right of centre and then a left of centre government as we are an inately conservative lot; not the philosophical drift that I was aiming to identify.
    Also during those periods people are measuring whether they are left of right wing, which produces an average I guess, against a backdrop that imo shifted rightwards.
    So if I am in the centre in 1977 and did not move I would score myself 0 in 1977 but -10 in 1992 where minus is left.

    Perhaps it did not shift in the Lab years but I don’t think it shifted back leftwards economically speaking.

  25. RAF.
    Absolutely.

    In public sector work we may not espouse such analyses.

  26. @ChrisLane1945

    “The idea of Mass being conducted by naked women is a challenging one.”

    It’s the worshiping of a giant George Osborne made out of butter that I’m struggling with.

    Staying with the imagery, I suppose in this weather, if Osborne really was made out of butter, as least a few hours of sunshine would deal with him.

  27. I try to avoid using the word “significant” unless I am sure everyone is using it to mean the same thing, although I often fail. What I was attempting to say is that the notion that 0.2 is better or worse than 0.3 is not very useful (just like the idea that 0.1% growth is usefull “better” than -0.1% growth). They’re headline numbers.

    The more interesting point, as I believe both Crossbat and Alec observe, is that a lot of us thought that the initial estimate looked a bit wonky, and there were plenty of parties who used that thesis to defend the state of the economy. Which is a pretty weird way to use numbers that have been universally, blankly depressing for a while now. Apparently 0.1 is significant.

  28. @Roger Mexico

    I’m with you on the received opinion bit, especially when it comes from religious dogma. Do I oppose gay marriage through loyalty to my church’s position or because I actually think it’s a bad thing? Did I join the Catholic church because I had such views on sexual and social matters, or do my views derive from the religion I was born into? If the Catholic Church changed it’s stance on gay marriage, would I change my position too by dint of conformity or would I hold on to a genuine moral belief that it was wrong. How did I form the view in the first place etc etc etc?

    All very difficult questions for people to pose themselves, especially those fully signed up to an organised religion.

  29. Haven’t caught up with the detail yet, but it sounds a bit like Hunt’s getting into deeper trouble at Leveson. This may just be the first reaction on Twitter, which can be notoriously biased, but even Peston is suggesting it doesn’t look too good.

  30. CROSSBAT11.
    Very interesting points.
    Newman said: I drink to the Pope, but to conscience first.

    Due to my age (57 today) and background, I tend to be deferential, but when a cleric tells me what to vote, if they do, I would ignore it.
    I make a distinction in my mind between the ‘ideal’ and how we can live our lives- so all the moral choices I make, i have to make them in the light of my conscience- which has been informed by the magisterium of course.

    Villa supporting has just been forbidden by Rome.

  31. Good to see the £2bn investment in school re-development today.

    A crying shame, mind, that this on hold for 2 years after Gove’s determination to be seen to be cutting faster and harder than anyone else back in summer 2010. The direct result of that decision was the collapse of the structural engineering firm run by a good friend of mine, which, in its turn, was a small factor in the construction sector slump that’s added to the current slow-down. Hey-ho…

    As for the list of school projects announced today, I’m sure that political advantage didn’t come into it, but it’s noticeable that there are very, very few in the Metropolitan areas. For example, there are more projects in Devon (10 projects pop ~750k) than in Doncaster, Sheffield, Rotherham, Manchester and Liverpool combined (9 projects, pop. ~2.05million).

  32. Hat tip to Alec on GDP revision as I remember him making that point around the time of -0.2 number publication- and thinking to myself ‘Crikey if he is correct that IS bad’.

    And it is IMO. As CL45 says- both symbolically and psychologically.

  33. alec

    Hunt looks dead in the water. He wrote a memo asking to Cameron in support of the bid saying James Murdoch was furious about Cable referring bid to Ofcom and demanding to know why we were obstructing bid. Officials had advised him to get involved as bid was nothing to do with Hunt.

    One month later, despite memo, Cameron gave the bid to Hunt to deal with.

    Be interesting to hear how he defends that decision!

  34. Sorry, officials had advised him not to get involved.

  35. Howard,
    ‘there was but a 1.5% swing to Con but a 11% swing to the alliance and 9.3% away from Labour.’

    I am not sure what you are referring to here. In 1983 the Lab to Con swing was 4.1 % – though the Tory vote dropped slightly.

  36. When Fox quit, was there any immediate effect on VI polling? I wonder if Hunt goes it will have much effect?

    If Ministers cling on and on, does it make the PM look loyal or look weak?

    That joke Cameron made about he would rather be loyal to his friends than stab his brother in the back might come back (like so many of his quips) to haunt him.

  37. From a polling standpoint though, wouldn’t the outrage effect over Hunt have already passed? Nixon taught us over here that the only thing that mattered was whether people approved or not, laws mean nothing if the people don’t care. It’s a disturbing thought, but there are clearly aspects of truth to it.

    IDK, If Hunt does go, however, I must admit that I’ll miss his fabulous scarves…

  38. Prediction for tonight:

    Tory lead of 13 points. :P

  39. Astonishing news from Leveson:

    Memo shows PM knew of culture secretary’s support for News Corp bid before giving him decisive role.

    BH

  40. 1979-1983

    Lab minus 9.3 (27.6)

    Con minus 1.5 (42.4)

    LD/SDP plus 11.6 (25.4)

    Bloody FPTP !

  41. Looks bad for Hunt and Cameron.

    How could Cameron claim that Hunt was engaged in a ‘quasi-judicial’ role when he knew Hunt was a NI partisan?

    It’s a joke, a mockery of a process and they have been found out.

    As for whether it will effect VI that depends on the propaganda machine picking the story up or not. So who owns a lot of the media again…?

  42. MimeMS, don’t think any VI affect as the damage has already been done, took 5-6 years for Blair but DC managed to prove he is just the same as other policians in less than 2, well done him.

  43. To be fair to Michel (the NI lobbyist) he said it wasn’t up to him to say if Hunt’s office had overstepped the mark.

    Now Cameron has more or less asked Levenson to rule on it, his knees must sound like maracas.

  44. NickP

    Hunt said he would be exonerated at Leveson, but it looks to be an uphill struggle if he was James Murdoch’s messenger before taking the ‘quasi-judicial’ acting job.

    How can they avoid an enquiry if he fails to provide a convincing story? Present him to the Schleswig Holstein enquiry for exoneration?

  45. JimJam

    I think the tories are at their base level of support. This is what they had in the dog days of IDS, Howard and Hague.

    VI won’t change, but the cause of the opposition will be strengthened and the govt will find it harder to hold the coalition together, with such obvious shenanigans directed at their coalition partners.

  46. Speaking general about base things. What are the demographic implications for tory VI over the next ten years or so?

    Would that reduce their base level to below 30% does anyone know?

  47. @MikeMS

    “I think the tories are at their base level of support. This is what they had in the dog days of IDS, Howard and Hague.”

    But while in opposition, Tory supporters didn’t have anything to upset their (presumed) belief that they might be at all competent, and that they might be ‘good’ for ‘people like them’. They now have direct evidence to compare against their expectations.

    While you may be right that we are down at the Tory VI rock bed, it’s not necessarily true that their VI is immutable.

  48. “Astonishing news from Leveson:
    Memo shows PM knew of culture secretary’s support for News Corp bid before giving him decisive role.”

    Not very astonishing. Despite the excitement, this is far from a killer blow, but it is awkward, particularly for Cameron.

    Hunt’s position regarding NI has been clear for years, and this only confirms this. The real question is why, when Cable was relieved of this role for making his personal views known, did Cameron appoint Hunt, apparently knowing his biased views in equal detail.

    @Leftylampton – “…there are more projects in Devon (10 projects pop ~750k) than in Doncaster, Sheffield, Rotherham, Manchester and Liverpool combined (9 projects, pop. ~2.05million).”

    I think we need to know more before we make any assumptions. It may be that Labour put more into schools in their areas, and this represents something of a correction. It does sound odd though on the face of it, and I hope some journalist or blogger digs in to this to check there isn’t any funny business going on.

  49. Now would be a good time for Dennis Skinner to be leader of the Opposition, say what you want about the lack of Decorum in PMQ’s but it would surely be entertaining. :)

  50. Just listening to a major manufacturer on BBC R4 describing that Osborne’s cut in investment allowances was instrumental in leading them to invest in a new manufacturing plant in Mexico rather than the UK.

    I’ve been banging on about this since he announced it, and the impacts finally seem to be getting noticed.

    Not sure about Osborne being made of butter, but his industrial strategy certainly is. As soon as the heats on, it melts.

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