Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8%. It’s a twelve point lead, following on from another twelve point lead the day before. It looks as though the post-Jubilee feel good effect has now faded entirely and we are back to the 12 point Labour leads that YouGov’s daily poll have been averaging around for most of the time since the local elections.

There is also a new Opinium poll out today, with almost identical figures to YoGov’s. They have topline voting intention figures of CON 31%(+1), LAB 42%(+1), LDEM 9%(nc), UKIP 8%(-2). Changes are from their previous poll a fortnight or so ago.


284 Responses to “New YouGov and Opinium polls”

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  1. @RAF – I do find the apportionment of blame an interesting debate to observe. There appears to be no concept on one side of the debate that financial institutions owe a duty of care to their shareholders to conduct due diligence on their loan decisions, which is something that to me seems a completely basic failure by extremely highly paid banking professionals.

    Similarly, no one wants to address the fact that Germany has been the biggest arms exporter to Greece (and is still supplying them with equipment even now) with Angela Merkal badgering the Greek government to borrow money to pay for German military hardware that they didn’t need.

    Even on this thread, we have a slightly curious apportionment of blame from @Colin. In previous posts on the Greek issue, he seems to blame Greek people for their lack of personal responsibility on issues like payment of taxes and excess borrowing.

    Yet when it comes to falling household savings ratios in the UK, magically the blame doesn’t seem to lie with individual households, but seems to be the fault of the government. Even here, blame is selectively apportioned, as the steep fall in savings ratios commenced in 1992/3, but the blame only appears to be the fault of the government from around 1997.

    Not quite sure why these dates are important, but perhaps someone might be able to spot a pattern?

  2. Alec,

    The united states is the biggest supplier of arms and arms export credit to Greece by far.

    As to why it needs one of the largest defence budgets by GDP in Europe, well that is because of the Greek decision To continue a silly arms race with Turkey!

    You can’t blame Germany for that although as Greece and Turkey are both in NATO and supposed to be allies you’d think they would have sorted it out years ago.

    Having said that the UK is spending £10bn on planes and aircraft Carriers to defend the Falklands and help America contain Iran.

    Peter.

  3. @Alec
    “Not quite sure why these dates are important, but perhaps someone might be able to spot a pattern?”
    ————————————
    Interesting post. I am interested in the pattern of “the deficit” during the years 1979-1997 and 1997-2010. Do you have any stats and averages on this?

  4. cheesewolf

    That was fascinating about Epirus and how the money spent in Greece has more to do with supporting the ‘feral elites’ of Europe than improving the country. Of course the Greeks have their own members of that elite -they’re the ones with the money in Switzerland and the houses in London.

    It’s quite clear that there’s real panic among the Euro elite about the possibility of a SYRIZA victory and lots of threats and spinning going on to try and prevent it. There’s an interesting interview with Tsipras here:

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2116075,00.html?xid=newsletter-europe-weekly

    in which he actually sounds rather like Colin in some ways about the inefficiencies of the Greek State – he just doesn’t think that the poor should keep on paying for the sins of the rich.

    No one really seems to know what will happen on Sunday – does any other country have as long a pre-election moratorium on polling as Greece? It’s very useful if you want to make money on the Greek stock market, less for voters who want to make an informed choice.

    Clearly there will a lot of consolidation especially from the unrepresented Parties that got nearly 20% of the vote between them. The real question is what will happen to the voters who abstained last time – I suspect former PASOK and ND voters who were unable to support their regular Party but unwilling to trust the new ones.

  5. Perhaps I’m a little late in this discussion, but can’t help providing some background to Greek military spending.

    The issue of Turkey is only part of it. The main reason for the excessive military spending is to keep the army quiet. Greece was a military dictatorship 1967-74, but was also essentially fairly authoritarian and right-wing before that in which the army was not a neutral observer. The pattern is similar to Portugal and Spain, although those two had more obvious dictatorships.

    In 1974 the colonels and the upper echelons were purged and some were imprisoned, but the army did not undergo root and branch reform. The bargain was struck – you can keep your toys, but stay out of politics. The military budget was partly covered by the US in any case since Greece was pretty strategic re. the USSR and the E Mediterranean.

    But the buying off of the military was just another sympton of the clientilism that characterises Greek society and politics, the difference being that the newly-democratic political class was desperate to depoliticise the army by underwriting it, not by reforming it. The incomplete nature of the Greek transition from authoritarianism was unknowingly bolstered by Gavin Esler on Newsnight a few months ago when he mused whether Greece would suffer a coup, which, whatever else you think of Greece, is nonsense.

    Both Greece and Turkey have, for not dissimilar reasons, difficult relationships with their own armed forces. While Turkish military has been by a far a more independent actor than the Greek, nevertheless the rush to democratise and acquire the veneer of democratic process left some rather large gaps.

  6. By the way, nice to see the consistent double-digit leads for Lab.

    Will be rooting for SYRIZA tomorrow. I’m glad Greeks are being shown a curve in the road that no-one else wants to see. I really don’t think Greece will be allowed to topple out of the euro. I remember 2008 when Hank Paulson thought that letting one back fail would encourage les autres. Four years on Lehmann is a byword for something else entirely. If the failure of one bank rattled confidence so much that it caused a desperate slump, what will happen if a whole country fails?

  7. Peter Cairns & Tark.

    What interesting & informative posts.

  8. @Peter Cairns – I should have said Germany was the biggest European exporter of arms to Greece – apologies. US supplies 42% of Greek defence, Germany next on 25%.

    Germany supplied an order for submarines that were defective, and for which there is still a dispute billion pound bill outstanding – three times more than Greece needs to cut from pensions. On this particular contract, the CEO of German company Ferostaal was forced to resign after admitting his company bribed Greek and Portuguese officials to secure the contracts.

    Siemens has also reached an out of court settlement with Greek prosecutors over allegations it bribed cabinet ministers to secure contracts.

    Amidst all the criticism of Greek fecklessness and corrupt practices, someone is handing over the cash, and in the case of defence and engineering contracts there is a good chance those making illegal payments are paragons of German industry.

  9. It seems there was a confusion of strategic thinking and finance. The decision to pour massive infrastructure capital into Greece could/should only ever have been a long term strategic decision. The culture of – certainly Epirus – and presumably Greece generally, was never going to generate the kind of profits such investment would require.

    Much of the literature I can find about Greece in the mid-2000s talked of it as a strategic hub in south-east Europe, with many multinational companies basing themselves there.

    If the issue was strategic/geopolitical/military/business then frankly put up or shut up. A strategy based on the fluctuations of international capital seems curiously flawed to me. And to blame ordinary Greeks and expect them to stump up the bill seems equally flawed.

    And as to the “Greeks don’t pay tax etc etc” are people seriously telling us they weren’t aware that was the case when they lent the money? Really? Really, really? It is a joke. And not a funny one.

  10. ALEC

    @”Yet when it comes to falling household savings ratios in the UK, magically the blame doesn’t seem to lie with individual households, but seems to be the fault of the government. Even here, blame is selectively apportioned, as the steep fall in savings ratios commenced in 1992/3, but the blame only appears to be the fault of the government from around 1997.”

    If I gave the impression that I think households bear no blame for the fall in their savings ratios through the Brown Chancellorship, then let me correct it now.

    Clearly they do, The conclusion in the IFS report I linked you to focuses on the illiquid position of UK households before the credit crash & recession.
    I do accord some blame to the Labour administration too. Credit was simply too available & too cheap. To permit 100% + LLTV Mortgages whilst a house price boom was underway is an example.

    As to the graph you mention-we will have to differ on our interpretations of the key period of downward trajectory.

    It matters not much now.We are a nation of highly indebted households.

  11. ROGER MEXICO.

    An interesting interview with Tsiprs.

    That 30%of GDP figure he gives for the Black Economy in Greece is incredible.

  12. @Colin – understood and agreed – I was being a little naughty, but purely for sake of debate.

  13. I’ve just read one of these ‘will say’ articles about a Miliband speech planned for today.

    Quote
    “Tainted because he stands up for the wrong people. Tainted because he does not stand up to the rich and powerful. Tainted because he cannot be the change this country needs.”

    If this is the soundbyte that news media choose, it will go down like a lead balloon, probably not least because of the speaker’s speech delivery issues.

    Does anyone agree with me that the monumentally tedious repetition in speeches comes over as off-putting in the extreme (they all do it so I am not getting at EM specifically)?

  14. HOWARD.
    I agree with you, though tainted may work.

    Andre Grice in THE I has a strong article today on the Government.

    The Radio 4 Comedy as I write is doing Leveson, Coulson and all

  15. Can I suggest that Ed Miliband now needs to start getting some actual policies or at least some views about the real issues that people are interested in, or he is likely to start losing the lead in the polls very rapidly. Leveson/Jeremy Hunt have been the only issues they have focussed on now for weeks, that will not be a vote winner at the general election, especially when everyone knows the Labour party were the main culprits for cosying up to the Murdochs with the pyjama parties and Christenings etc. There is an article in the Express which Ed Miliband needs to take heed of.
    h ttp://fb.me/1J1sq09Rr

    Even with this latest ‘Tainted Prime Minister’ speech, he is still referring to the PM’s connection with the Murdoch press.

    @Howard
    I totally agree with you regarding the ‘will say’ in speeches, but I think Ed Miliband is far more culpable because he also says it in interviews at the start of answers, why doesn’t he just say things instead of telling us he ‘will say’ something?

  16. @Howard

    I expect that will be exactly the reason that such lines are repeated ad-nausium, in an attempt to show ‘Miliband is just a muppet’…

    And then something odd happens. See, that lasts a few weeks. The message behind it, that lasts longer. Whiny nasal odd looking Miliband is fast getting the reputation as being the odd kid, who you pick for your football team first anyway because he’s good at the game.

  17. ComRes IoS/MoS poll out tomorrow –
    As well as standard VI, it asks questions on George Osborne, membership of the EU, conservative majority, con-lib coalition and Cameron’s pub visit.

  18. SoCalLiberal

    I read the LA Weekly piece and I couldn’t help thinking that all those involved would be better directing their money towards areas in the State or country where it could do some good for the Democrats rather than what looks rather like vanity politics.

  19. “Even with this latest ‘Tainted Prime Minister’ speech, he is still referring to the PM’s connection with the Murdoch press.”

    I haven’t read what Ed M will say, but I suspect @katie is completely wrong and has missed the point entirely about ‘tainted PM’.

    [Snip – let he who is without sin… – AW] Ed M has over the last 18 months, consistently and confidently picked all the top themes. He has done this early, against conventional advice, and has been proved correct on every occasion. From predatory capitalism, to attacking NI and Murdoch and budgets for millionaires, he has not so much jumped on all the right band wagon as designed and built the rolling stock, laid the track, and then stoked the engine. He’s miles ahead of you on this and you are being left behind.

    If I was writing his speech, I would think the ‘tainted PM’ was a ripper, and I would begin with tax breaks for millionaires – right back to where the Tory meltdown started. The issue isn’t about Leveson and NI – it’s far more fundamental than that, but reference to horse borrowing and country suppers will go down a bomb as well.

    @Howard – ‘monumentally tedious repetition in speeches is actually one of the finest rhetorical devices ever invented. Think ‘we will fight them on the….’, or ‘I have a dream…’ or ‘The day may come…..but it is not this day’. [That last one is from Lord of the Rings – apologies, but it would have made a great political speech].

    I’m not claiming ‘tainted prime minister’ ranks right up there with the greats, but it is an effective by line and a classic delivery method.

    For those anti Ed people, do please bear in mind that all Ed is doing in this speech is summing up what Nick Robinson and others told us in the Thursday night news bulletins. Cameron is damaged, his aura dented, and yes, he is tainted.

  20. JAYBLANC.

    I agree with you on ED M. I am so rooting for your posts.

    LOL

  21. Colin

    I found some figures that support the Greek 30% black economy from a Telegraph article last year:

    Figures compiled for The Sunday Telegraph by the world renowned expert Prof Friedrich Schneider of Linz University in Austria show that Greece’s shadow economy – made up of the trade, goods and services, both legal and illegal where taxes are not paid – grew from 24.3pc of GDP in 2008 to 25.4pc in 2010.

    This compares with 10.7pc of GDP in the UK, 13.9pc in Germany, 19.4pc in Spain and 21.8pc in Italy.

    Given that the black economy tends to keep increasing in hard economic times (I also wonder if the figure is as good at taking grand corruption into account as petty), 30% seems a good enough round figure guess.

  22. CHRISLANE1945
    `I agree with you on ED M. I am so rooting for your posts.
    LOL`

    We are all in this together…lol

  23. In terms of setting Ed’s speech into a political context, perhaps we might focus more on the line about the PM being tainted because he can’t stand up to the rich and powerful?

    To get an idea about how this theme is playing, it’s worth reading this h ttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9334066/We-tamed-the-union-bosses-now-lets-tackle-the-barons-of-business.html

    from Charles Moore.

    On the left, this is also interesting – h ttp://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/owen-jones-workingclass-toryism-is-dying-and-its-taking-the-party-with-it-7851880.html

    The latter article includes the classic paragraph “When I was at university, a one-time very senior Tory figure put it succinctly at an off-the-record gathering: the Conservative Party, he explained, was a “coalition of privileged interests. Its main purpose is to defend that privilege. And the way it wins elections is by giving just enough to just enough other people”.”

    Clearly, I would argue, that we have a theme developing here, which is resonating with both left and right. With research showing recently that 75% of the nations richest 1,000 individuals have made substantial donations to the Tory party, there is a clear case to be made that Cameron is on the wrong side of this theme.

    When Charles Moore is taking up the cudgels it’s very hard to describe this as left wing envy driven class war, as it was during the Crewe and Nantwich by election.

    I’m not aware of direct polling evidence around this general theme, but Ed’s rhetorical approach of painting the PM as being too close to the privileged will, I suspect, resonate way beyond the left and will prove to be a very potent theme for Labour.

  24. @ Katie & Howard

    Political speeches can be intended to irritate people. Any reaction, even a negative one, beats being ignored.

    Will the ‘tainted, tainted, tainted’ line make the public enthusiastic about Ed M? Probably not.

    Will it make David Cameron turn purple; will it annoy the bejeebers out of his Downing Street team? Probably yes.

    Sometimes politics is like football. David Cameron has fumbled the ball, Ed Miliband just needs to push it over the line. Ed’s own team would not be pleased, if he let such an opportunity go by. Scrappy goals are worth as much as beautiful ones to the final score.
    8-)

  25. BBC lunchtime news report speech by “Labour leader David Miliband”

  26. ROGER MEXICO

    Thanks.

    I’ve read that Tsipras interview again.

    It is very very interesting.

    For a man from his political background to say those things about the Greek public sector-he even uses the word cilentelism)-emphasises the problems in the Greek State sector & governance.

    He makes the telling point that there is virtually no export sector-the whole economy is based on domestic consumption & state largesse.

    I was very struck by this quite uncompromising position on the bailout :-

    “We will not renegotiate the bailout agreement. This agreement is dead, since May 6 [elections], and it will definitely be forgotten on June 16 [new election]. We will negotiate, on a political level, the relation of our country with the other 16 countries of the euro zone, as well as the possibility of this necessary financing to be continued on different agreed terms”

    This is not tinkering at the edges-it is complete repudiation of the contract with EU/IMF. Presumably that imediately triggers conditions in connection with continued tranches of the loan.

    And Tsipras’ reaction to the prospect of Greece’s creditors just saying “you’re on your own then” is simply that “the markets” will then attack Spain & Italy & bring the whole edifice down!

    If he does form a government we will be witness to a game of poker with the biggest stakes in history.

    Extraordinary-& a bit scary.

  27. @Alec

    The spanner in the works on this issue for the Tories is not DC but GO. DC at least understands the need to appear to empathise with those really suffering from the rescession. GO just seems to be looking,for more and,more ways to reduce any burden whatsoever from the weathy in the vain hope that this will enable them to invest in the economy. And whenever his moves in this direction fail, he tries further, deeper support measures for the rich paid for by paring back state assistance for poorer people.

    Comservatism in the 80s was at least aspirational and,aimed at the upper working class and lower middle class (as well as the rich). Now it’s only the super rich who are benefiting at the expense of everyone else. That is,why,the Tories are struggling with the tradional middle,class Tory press (even,the DM – an,upper middle rag), let alone,the working,class Tory redtops.

    The Tories have to find a way of reconnecting with their Adam Smith based roots, and move away from being the mouthpiece of the FTSE100.

  28. Colin,

    Greece has a huge export sector… It is called tourism.

    It creates foreign exchange in the same way as exports only the customer is the good and he comes and brings the cash to you.

    Tourism often gets missed because of this.

    There was a Herald article a while back that lamented Scotland’s poor record at attracting overseas visitors compared too Ireland’s until it was pointed out that the largest group of visitors to both are from England but they only show up as overseas visitors in the Irish figures.

    Now just how much of the cash from tourism finds it was via tills into the Black economy never to be seen by the tax man is another issue.

    Given that the other state with the biggest black economy was Spain I suspect a fair amount.

    Peter.

  29. RAF,

    I don’t really agre with your analysis. Under Thatcher and through to Blair both Tory and Labour strategies followed the winning formula adopted from the US.

    Make your pitch across the traditional ground between your supporters and theirs and gain the middle. As a Country with two dominant parties one from the left and one from the right it transferred well.

    The Tory pitch was to give people things from the state for themselves they could afford; Right to Buy, shares in BT, British Gas etc, lower taxes.

    The Labour pitch was to improve the state provision for those things people still couldn’t afford but would like; Private Schools, BUPA, a bodyguard.

    So new Labour offered; Education, Education, Education, tough on Crime and 24hrs to Save the NHS.

    The problem the Tories have now is that have nothing to offer the middle, partly because they have sold them most of it already and partly because the cupboard is bare.

    That is the problem with bribing the electorate… The price keeps going up.

    Labour have a similar problem in that their strategy was equally based on more Doctors, Nurse, teachers and Bobbies on the Beat and they can’t offer that now either.

    Labour have an advantage in being in opposition but both are in a bind because the last thirty years have been offering what appeared to be different things but were actually just directing more and more state resources to the concerns of middle England.

    Where does that get you when state resources dries up?

    Peter.

  30. He [Ed Miliband] set out his “vision for our future economy”, where companies would be regarded as a shared project between workers, management, shareholders and customers, with reduced pay inequality and an end to poverty wages.
    —————————–
    The instant media coverage will be all about the ‘tainted’ PM line. But I think it will be the above paragraph which will be the long term talking point from Ed M’s speech today.
    8-)

  31. PETER

    Indeed-15% of GDP-or used to be.

  32. All is not well among the brothers, a Blairite pressure group called Progress, has somehow inveigled its way into the heart of the Labour party, and, in a scenario redolent of’ ‘ Ashcroft buys Tories’, it seems that Lord Sainsbury is bankrolling them with millions. The combined ranks of the GMB, Unite, and Unison, aided and abetted by some disillusioned Labour MP’s and Shadow Ministers, are now threatening to disrupt proceedings at the Party conference………Could this be something ‘tainted’ at the heart of Labour ? :-)

  33. @ Ken

    Could this be something ‘tainted’ at the heart of Labour ?
    ——————–
    No, it is ‘inside baseball’. And Lord Sainsbury isn’t bankrolling them with £Ms. I think it is about £250k per year.
    8-)

  34. AMBER STAR………Michael Meacher is of the opinion that Lord Sainsbury is trying to buy the Labour Party, it all looks a bit threatening, to my unjaundiced eye. :-)

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