Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 43%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 8% – back to rather more typical YouGov figures after a seven point Labour lead yesterday that appears to have been something of an outlier. That said the last four YouGov polls have shown the Conservatives creeping back up into 33-34%, whereas apart from the brief post-Jubilee boost, they have typically been at 31-32% since the local elections. I’m wary of overanalysing small shifts in polls, so right now I’d say to assume this is normal random variation, but do keep an eye on it.

100 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 33, LAB 43, LD 8, UKIP 8”

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  1. Good Morning All.
    i. Henry: I hope all is well.

    ii. ROBIN: Yes, in olden times the candidates were given the actual % mark.

    One caveat on exam marking: The pay now for public exam marking is very low; about £2.00 an hour for Historry GCSE and A Level.

    When my Dad marked in the late 1950’s the fee was enough to take a mortgage from the bank to enable Dad to buy a small hut in Cornwall for his growing family to have a place to holiday- Whitsands Bay.

    When I was a young teacher, it was not possible to mark A Level until 5 years of teaching had been done. NOW, the examiners, who mark on line, can be almost anyone.

  2. There have been some very interesting points regarding education standards above, and I don’t intend to get into the debate about whether standards are improving or not… but just because standards may be improving doesn’t mean reform isn’t required.

    Suppose that educational standards continue to improve every year for the next 100 years or more… eventually we’d reach a stage where every child was getting A* grades for their GCSEs, without question… now, some may welcome this, but I’d argue that such a situation wouldn’t be good for anyone; the students themselves, their parents, universities, employers, etc. If academic ability across populations follows, say, a normal distribution, then I think it’s right that exam grades reflect this distribution too. It does no-one any favours if every student achieves the highest grades.

    Therefore, I believe, it follows that as educational standards improve, exams continually need to be made more difficult. As (or if) students continue to improve, teaching standards continue to improve, and hence overall grades continue to improve, the need for exam reform becomes ever more urgent. Harder exams are going to be essential. Or do we just want A* GCSEs for all??

  3. Johntt


    The scale of HMRC investigations currently underway in today’s Times is incredible.

    There are certainly a lot of well known arty types in the “film investment” schemes.

    The Times have analysed occupation categories too-Dentists & Doctors are very well represented ! :-)

  4. It’s a bit odd this glee over rich “leftie” tax avoiders when juxtaposed with a complete indifference to poor social mobility, the upward direction of wealth (rich getting richer, poor not) and the fact the person who owns the Times doesn’t pay tax here and isn’t even British.

    I agree that a rich leftie dodging tax is just as bad as say, Cameron’s dad. We as a country need to lead the way and close loopholes and if people upsticks then let’s make sure they don’t do business here without paying tax…tax the property they own here, for instance.

    Labour seems to be suggesting getting even more protectionist over the labour force so why not consider getting protectionist over taxation? No representation without taxation? Murdoch has had a direct line to several PMs without paying any tax whatsoever.

  5. Another by the way…complete transparency would be a good thing, I think. How muc of the sh*t we are finding out about would happen if all the participants had known that everything they do would be up for scrutiny by the general public?

  6. Really hate to say this, as gazing in back with fondness to a mythical past really isn’t my desired position, but I can’t fully agree with @Peter Cairns and others on current educational standards.

    I know a good number of university lecturers, particularly in the sciences. I’ve heard directly from people who deliver courses at some of the top universities that they are having to add additional starter modules in subjects like maths, degree courses have had to become less demanding and students are much less prepared for independent study that in the past – ‘spoon feeding’ is an expression I hear frequently.

    A friend who recently returned to lecturing after a lengthy break was astonished after delivery her first lecture that her students crowded round at the end waiting for the lecture notes. She now has to tell students in advance that they are expected to make their own notes.

    I’m afraid I have absolutely no doubt that while learning systems are radically different today to the pre GCSE time, with some positives, overall the level of achievement required for a given grade is well down.

  7. @NickP
    Odd. Your link suddenly disappeared.

    h ttp://

  8. @Gary O/Peter Cairns

    Two excellent posts and I was attempting to make very similar points yesterday until Anthony, on reflection quite rightly, snipped me into the cyber-sphere for being a little partisan when linking a tendency for sentimentality and nostalgia to conservative politics.

    I’ve always been resistant, both temperamentally and politically, to raining on the parade of today’s young people and I despair at how widespread this depressing practice still seems to be. The Daily Mail is a regular peddler of such nonsense. Of course there are aspects of modern life, it could be argued, that are regressions from the past, but there is so much that is better now than in those mis-remembered “golden days” of yore. The fact that we so often pine for a non-existent past is a product of fear, in my view, a nervousness about progress that some people think may threaten their hoary and self satisfying old assumptions. The subject of education is a veritable treasure trove of such nostalgic delusions.

    So, as I said often to my children as they grew up, when you hear somebody of my age whittling on about past golden ages, devaluing and belittling your achievements, take the mythical nonsense with liberal pinches of salt.

    “When I was a lad, you could leave your front door open when you went out. Aahh, and summers really were summers back then; and we all used to help each other out when we got into trouble. Not like today, when you can get a degree by sending in four corn flake packet tops. Exams, they don’t know the meaning of them any more. Yeah, when I was a lad ………………….” zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  9. Henry,

    “I hope you are well under sixty. Otherwise you would remember the presence of the local cop on the beat. They might not be always seen as the gentleman cop Dixon, and were often seen as nosy and interfering , particularly by those who were up to no good.”

    Bobbies on the beat was not only an effective form of policing but up until the sixties the only practical way of policing. But it only worked because we had a pedestrian population.

    For policing to be effective it has to reflect and match the society of the day.

    I remember a Mike Harding sketch about how;

    “There was hardly any crime in our day and the streets were safe”

    He then goes on funnily to describe that no one had a car or really any material possessions so the only thing to nick would have been the mangle from the kitchen… So the thief would need to getinto a house probably with the wife at home and then risk a hernia lugging it down the street so that as everyone already had one he could secretly live in a two mangle home.

    (I just thought those younger contributors doing exams might not no what a mangle is)

    The point is once we all started to go out to work and left homes with valuables empty we created a market for criminals. Once criminals became mobile and got cars the days of bobbies on the beat were gone.

    Their was perhaps a halcyon Z Cars period when the police had cars and radios and criminals didn’t and I suppose pre war when police had phones and criminals didn’t. You may even say that in the early nineties or just before the police had computers before criminals.

    Now crime is fully mobile, they have BMW’s and iPhones, Laptops and Fhishing web sites, Lawyers and Accountants.

    Any type of good old fashioned policing wouldn’t last five minutes in the modern world, but like better education the majority of the public would never accept it, because we view these things through the prism of our on recollections of a more stable secure past.


  10. A by-election result from last night.

    Huntingdonshire – Earith
    Con 524 UKIP 437 UKIP 96 LD 92 Loony 54
    Con hold

    LD candidate only just ahead of a Loony ! Good result for UKIP.

  11. It seems to me that the Lab poll lead has definitely slipped from their post-budget, post omni-shambles, “in the midst of Leveson” peak of a 12/13+ lead.

    Now that Leveson has been out of the news and the headlines are more about govt controversy (GCSEs) rather than govt incompetence (U-turns, Pasty Tax, self-induced petrol crisis), it seems some of the protest vote has slipped back.

    It will be interesting to see if this is a temporary reversion (e.g. once Coulson, Brooks, Leveson back in news the Lab Lead shoots back up), or the beginning of a slip back to Cons (as more attention gets put on EM and his policies or lack thereof).

    The reaction to EMs speech on immigration will be interesting, to see if people feel there’s anything substantial to it or not.

  12. R HUCKLE,

    Did UKIP have two candidates?

    That seems a bit odd was it a multi member ward?


  13. Peter Cairns

    I follow your point, up to a point, but I understood the majority of thieving crime was carried out by addicts of prohibited (and thus very expensive) substances. These people are usually pedestrians, I thought.

    I have the impression that any police force wishing to up its game could consider following a prisoner following his release and within 24 hours they would have their arrest.

    Neil A will put us right.

  14. Tunbridge Wells East byelection June 2012:

    Con, 1171 (2372 in 2009)
    LD, 1022 (1532)
    Ukip, 1000 (585)
    Lab, 321 (324)
    Grn, 109 (na)

    Immense relief for the Conservatives after their council leader lost his seat (Rusthall) to Ukip in May.

  15. Lib Dem voters…what are they like???!

    No, really, what are they like?

    Amidst all the speculation on these pages about how the LD vote will hold up at the next GE and how it will affect certain marginals it seems that nobody really has a clear handle on Lib Dems.

    What Lib Dems will do at the next election is probably the most interesting feature of this election cycle but I still haven’t got a clue what they will do.

  16. What I said yesterday : “The tax avoidance issue will come to haunt DC like the back to basics did for Major. ”

    and what the Daily Mail is saying today: “Mr Cameron’s backtracking came after warnings his decision to brand Carr’s behaviour ‘morally wrong’ could lead to a repeat of John Major’s infamous ‘back to basics’ campaign, which backfired when it drew attention to the morals of senior Tories.”

  17. Swa,pMongrel
    “What Lib Dems will do at the next election is probably the most interesting feature of this election cycle but I still haven’t got a clue what they will do.”

    I think it is likely that ‘tactical Lib Dems’ – mostly anti-Tories – will mainly revert to Labour, while ‘real Lib Dems’ will probably mainly stay loyal (though Clegg might have to go).

  18. @Howard / Peter Cairns,

    Most acquisitive crime, other than white-collar crime, is committed by drug addicts. A large proportion of the remainder (ie non-white collar acquisitive crime not committed by drug addicts) is committed by delinquent children, many of whom go on to become drug addicts in any event (those that don’t generally grow out of crime). Plenty of addicts have cars, but I’d say most “street crime” is committed by suspects on foot.

    Recent falls in acquisitive crime can be squarely put down to technology. When I was a young constable, thefts of and from motor vehicles were a plague. Now they are relatively rare, due to the security of modern vehicles. On the flip-side, the advent of mobile phones (small, light, valuable, easy to sell) led to a huge increase in robbery and theft-person allegations. That too is beginning to recede as mobile phone companies get more cooperative about using technology to render stolen phones useless.

    I personally don’t think the number of police on the street, or the method by which they patrol, is a huge determinant of crime figures. Patrolling police officers seldom stumble across crimes in commission. Increasing police numbers gives you a higher chance of getting to a “999” call whilst the offenders are still there, but this is still a fairly marginal benefit.

    As for Howard’s suggestion that police follow newly released criminals. There is some truth in that. In my opinion, most street crime is committed by people who have appeared before the courts at some time in the previous 12 months, and most people released from prison go on to reoffend very quickly. The problem with surveillance is the cost. A 24 hour long surveillance operation would probably cost well over £3,000. Most prisons release several criminals on any given day. My force, for example, has only a single surveillance team and they can only be in one place (from the Scilly Isles to Tiverton) at any given time.

  19. Interesting that Labour have decided to go hell-for-leather for the anti-immigration vote.

    If it was a Tory announcement, accusations of racism would be colouring the air.

    It’s probably shrewd politics (and I happen to agree with their analysis) but do people think the bulk of the Labour party can be kept on board with this new line? It sounds like the sort of thing large chunks of the party have dedicated their lives to resisting.

  20. Neil A and PC

    Thanks Neil. I am pleased to discover I am not quite as OOT on the facts as I thought. Thanks also for your illumination on my attempt at sideways thinking.

    My wife had a go at this. Mrs H decided that, as frail old people were frequently the victims, even while in their own homes, a possible solution would be to confine deprived youth to open prisons for morality training, but in the case of the adult prison population, to reverse the situation. Put the frail old people in prison where they would be safe from the low life, protected by warders, receive care and nice meals and all the recreational facilities, whilst turning the low life out of the prisons after forced cold turkey and with a guaranteed job working for the community or preferably sent to what we, after that lovely man and great thinker, call ‘Letwin Island’ .

    Perhaps you could get an ‘ideas box’ prize Neil with such tips, which we would gladly supply gratis.

  21. NEIL A.
    I think that the Labour realists, and that is most Labour people now, will be grateful that their leader has spoken what most people think.

    However, Radio Two phone in (!) to Professor Jeremy Vine has had many people pointing out that ‘East Europeans’ often work harder than the ‘locals’.

    In the case for the carers for my poor Mum, that is certainly the case.

  22. Neil on Lab tactics.

    After the ‘veto’ bounce and hoped-for Carr bounce and the ‘Livingstone a tax hypocrite’ campaigns, I suspect that it will begin to dawn on Labour and EM’s advisers that we live in a populist political world .

    I read the Aussie press (very painfully) and what goes on there makes the above seem very tame indeed. I understand USA has been like this for decades but Socal can confirm.

  23. @Howard,

    I’m afraid Mrs H is entirely wrong. Elderly people are not “frequently” the victims. They are in fact “almost never” the victims. However, every crime against an elderly person (rightly persons) receives extensive media coverage leading to a wide perception that criminals target them.

    One of the fallacies of “soft on crime” approaches is that the victims of crime are older people, middle class people, white people etc. In fact the people most likely to be robbed, assaulted etc are young people, poor people, BME people etc.

    Attitudes to policing, crime and sentencing are often surprisingly robust in down-at-heel parts of the country.

  24. Rightly persons = Rightly perhaps. Bah.

  25. @Neil A – ” …hell-for-leather for the anti-immigration vote”

    As the son of immigrants he can’t do that (“immigration has benefits, economically, culturally and socially”).

    The question is being framed in terms of how to manage globalisation (who benefits from the benefits of globalisation): quotas from new EU accession countries, tougher penalites for breaches of the minimum wage, action on exculsive employment agencies/gangmasters, and monitoring skills shortages.

  26. Neil A,

    I have a friend who was a PC in Inverness for about five years and he was put in plain clothes for a month. The first three weeks he sat in cars and stood at bus stops pretending to be on the phone or reading the paper. In the last week he and colleges raided a handful of houses and drug crime halved for nearly six months.

    Intelligence lead policing bets bobbies on the beat hands down, but at almost every Community Council meeting you get a call from a usually middle class resident from a quiet leafy street calling for “More Bobbies on the beat”

    In the end both me and the local senior commander gave up trying to explain that if you don’t see a foot patrol in your area you are safe. It’s actually when you regularly see foot or traffic patrols when you need to be concerned.

    As the Commander said to me once after a meeting; “I have the resources to combat crime, I don’t have the resource to tackle the fear of crime, and I know which is my priority.”


  27. I hardly think Labour went tough on immigration, it was more of a culpa mea on the effects of previous immigration policies, and how this has affected the indigenous UK population. He can hardly stay silent on such a huge topic, and as it is, I think he done rather well. His biggest mistake was maybe the lack of pledges or outlines of policies on how Labour would tackle the issue. I’m not one of those people who thinks Labour should have had a manifesto out last year (because the Cons and LDs would cherry pick the best, and the media would destroy the rest), but I think he does have to star giving even the vaguest outlines on what a Labour Government would be like, especially now whilst Labour are enjoying a good lead.

    Allan; a little partisan perhaps?

  28. @ChisLane1945
    ‘I wonder whether David Cameron knew about the move?’

    This is exactly what I thought when Clegg appeared in bemused ignorance.

    The Goveisum agenda does not require consultation! ;-)

    Micheal Gove doesn’t strike my as the kind of person to ask permission when he is on his high horse….. and so it seems that indeed Cameron did not know what his own Cabinet Minister was up to.
    I think he knew Cameron wouldn’t really care and Clegg doesn’t really count (the child at the end of the table).

    Coalition marriage of connivance heading for divorce? Well, I think they are no longer sleeping together :-)
    Signs are there is real ‘trouble at mill’.


    Yes okay maybe a little partisan but for Ed Miliband to say and I quote.. “Labour never understood peoples concerns over immigration” is baffling??

    He might be the new…ish Labour leader but was part of a government who must had seen in the run up to the election (and even before) immigration was one of the biggest concerns voters had.

    Labour have this tendency to jump on populist bandwagons when in opposition little releasing (conveniently) that it was their own policies which caused the problems we now face.

  30. @Paul Bristol – “The Goveisum agenda”

    Murdoch senior has a high opinion of him (and not necessarily of David Cameron) and we know the feeling is reciprocated (“Murdoch is a great man”).

    Now Gove has buttered up the Mail: “One day, some time in the future, this brave politician might well be the kind of leader that the Conservative Party chooses and the nation craves.”

    Boris has dithered too long, Osborne has lost credibility, Gove has put down his marker.

  31. Allan: The point is though, it was such a concern, in part because Labour truly didn’t understand the effects of immigration. I’m a Labour supporter, and I also believe immigration is a good thing, but I understand that it can have negative effects too, and Miliband simply acknowledged that.

  32. LizH: Perhaps you should offer to write for them? I find the same thing with footy commentaries on TV: I say something brilliant and they instantly say the same thing.

    Its a problem being clever.

  33. “One day, some time in the future, this brave politician might well be the kind of leader that the Conservative Party chooses and the nation craves.”

    This is exactly the problem the Conservatives are facing at the moment. The Tory Right seems to be under the impression that Lib Dem voters deserting in droves to Labour is evidence that what the country really wants is more Tory Right policies. The Tory right are also routinely confusing what they want with want everyone else wants.

    The odds are against a Conservative Party under Cameron being in Government at the next election, but if the Conservatives pick a new leader on the ticket to do everything the nasty Lib Dems won’t allow, their chance will be round about zero.


    I was just being realistic. Strange that we trust someone to run a country when they can’t work out something that simple.


    Just to be clear I’m also not against immigration but acknowledge that mass immigration can and does have a negative effect on areas such as the NHS, Schools and housing etc!!

    Well like the rest of us I shall wait and see what Ed’s proposals are over immigration and lets see if the voters go with it.. :)

  36. The big problem is that it is well nigh imposible to stop people migrating to improve their lot. Probably immoral to do so.

    All the immigration static ignores the inevitability of being unable to do much about it. It’s waffle really.

  37. @Billy Bob
    Gove is defiantly on the move.

    Thatcherist in direction. ….an autocrat. Makes Boris look an endearing mistake and Osborne directionless lightweight.

    He will be Marmite to the voters. Bring it on! :-)

  38. Good Afternoon all, another week over in school term time.

    I was reflecting today on how brutal many of the CSE classes were, in my first two schools.

    The ‘O’ Level sets and streams and bands were fine in the Comprehensives which employed me, and I was not ‘eased out’ thank God as OLD NAT wanted to do.

    However the ghetto-like nature of the CSE bands was debilitating.

    So were the border line sets, where, due to numbers, we had to house both O and CSE pupils. They then did exams that were close in terms of content, in outline, not in depth.

    Michael Gove won a scholarship to a fine school, so he did not suffer such problems.

  39. CHRISLANE1945

    Oh dear. You’re still brooding over that remark! :-)

  40. NEILA

    @”If it was a Tory announcement, accusations of racism would be colouring the air.
    It’s probably shrewd politics (and I happen to agree with their analysis) but do people think the bulk of the Labour party can be kept on board with this new line? It sounds like the sort of thing large chunks of the party have dedicated their lives to resisting.”

    My thought entirely on hearing his proposal.


    @”Miliband simply acknowledged that.”

    I think he went a little further than generalities.

    He is proposing legal deterrents to firms who exclusively employ workers from overseas, & to ban recruitment agencies which use only foreign workers at the expense of ‘local talent’.

  42. Is he thinking about gang bosses and exploitation?

    Greece to win tonight?

  43. This is the quote from EM :-

    “”In sectors where there is a problem, every medium and large employer that has more than 25% foreign workers – double the average share of migrants in the population – should have to notify Jobcentre Plus.”


  44. NICKP

    I’m sure if they made benefits harder to obtain for foreigners regardless where they come from then it might go some way to stemming the huge influx.

    The French questioned this a few years back when thousands of migrants were passing through France en-route to the UK.

    I also agree (and I hope Ed means it) that jobs should not be outsourced to a particular nationality within the UK especially when they are not British.

    More emphasis has to be put on getting Labour supporters, sorry the unemployed of their backsides and into work.

  45. @Colin – ” …do people think the bulk of the Labour party can be kept on board with this new line?”

    They’ll probably read the speech rather than offer a knee-jerk reaction:


    Better speechwriter this time, with some developed reasoning. His speech to the Progress conference last week consisted solely of a list of short statement sentences.

  46. Peter Cairns

    ‘Any type of good old fashioned policing wouldn’t last five minutes in the modern world, but like better education the majority of the public would never accept it, because we view these things through the prism of our on recollections of a more stable secure past.’

    Thank you for your detailed comment, and I agree things move on. My comment was the rewriting of history about Dixon, etc. Those days did exist.

    I believe you are a Councillor and will be well versed in the way the police work now. Friends and relatives who are Councillors have expressed dissatisfaction to me both with the work quality and secrecy. When my daughter was a Councillor she was contacted by a elderly resident who said there were about a dozen youths in his garden; he had called the police but they had not come. I drove her up to the house and when she got out of the car 2 thirds of the youths (14/15 yrs) fled; the rest, whom she knew remained. And the matter was explained and they said they were very sorry. By the time the police finally turned up it was all sorted.

    The reason I raise this (other than to brag about my brave daughter) is to suggest that there is still room for old fashioned local policing where necessary and the police fail us. This is not a one off example, but one of dozens where the police failed to deliver a decent local service, particularly in regard to anti-social behaviour.

  47. Neil A

    Thanks for the correction on facts about victims’ age percentages.

    I still think Mrs H’s idea on elderly care in prisons may have merit. I was paying £2650 per month for my mother’s care but now they have snaffled nearly all her capital, the home is having to make do with £1700 pm from the Council.. I would be interested in CL 1945’s figure.

    I understood that inmates cost £30,000 per year a while back so there could be an interesting comparison to be made here.

    Allowing drug addicts the safe haven of prison seems a luxury I would rather not pay for. Perhaps we have a winner here for the promoting party.

  48. LizH

    Thanks for your second post about nice Liberals. Much appreciated.

  49. @HENRY

    It’ s a pleasure and so nice to see you back here.

  50. ‘The reason I raise this (other than to brag about my brave daughter) is to suggest that there is still room for old fashioned local policing where necessary and the police fail us. This is not a one off example, but one of dozens where the police failed to deliver a decent local service, particularly in regard to anti-social behaviour’

    Of course, the police may actually have other work to do at that time. The ‘support police’ may have a role here, but highly trained – and expensive – police are better dealing with serious crime rather than, frankly, minor ASBO land.

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