The full table for YouGov’s Sunday Times poll are now up here. On the regular leader trackers Cameron’s net rating is minus 25 (from minus 27 last week), Miliband’s minus 21 (from minus 24), Clegg’s minus 59 (from minus 55). This is Clegg’s worst rating so far… though not quite the worst YouGov have had for any leader, Gordon Brown did get worse a couple of times.

YouGov asked some more specific questions on how David Cameron was seen. His worst rating, as usual, was on being seen as out of touch. 66% thought Cameron was out of touch compared to only 23% who saw him as in touch. 52% think he has run out of ideas, compared to 32% who think he has plenty of ideas. 47% now see him as weak, though 38% still see him as strong. His better ratings are 40% who see him as decisive (47% indecisive), and 42% who see him as likeable (44% dislikeable).

Alternative Conservative leaders are all seen as likely to do worse than Cameron. 43% of people think Boris Johnson would make a worse leader compared to 23% who think he would do better, 42% think Michael Gove would do worse compared to only 6% who think he would do better (though 32% say they don’t know enough about Gove to say), 59% think Osborne would do worse with only 3% who think he’d do better. Closest to Cameron is William Hague – 28% think he would do better compared to 32% who think he’d do worse.

On the House of Lords, asked specifically about the governments proposed reforms of the House of Lords 44% of people say they support them, 28% are opposed and 28% don’t know. A majority of both Labour and Lib Dem voters support them, Conservative supporters are pretty evenly split. While people tend to support the proposals, only 17% of people say they should be a priority at the moment and, given the failure to pass the programme motion, 48% of people say the government should abandon them at the present time. 32% think the government should keep on trying.

Turning to the coalition, a majority of people still expect the coalition to last until the election (30%) or until shortly before it (24%), only 12% expect it to end in the next year… up from only 7% in May, but nevertheless still very small. Asked about what they would LIKE to happen, 43% of people would like to see the coalition end within the next year. Unsurprisingly this is mostly made up of Labour supporters, but just over a quarter (27%) of Tory voters would like to see the coalition end within the next year. If the coalition did end 64% of people would like to see a fresh general election, including majorities of Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters. Tory voters would like the Conservatives to continue as a minority government in the event the coalition fell.

On the LIBOR scandal, 49% of people say that George Osborne should apologise, 30% say he shouldn’t. It splits, as one might expect, strongly along partisan lines. 77% of Labour voters say he should apologise, 60% of Tory voters say he shouldn’t.

Finally on long term care 78% of people say they would support a cap on charges for long term care. Asked about where this should be, most people tended to go for the lowest option available (35% said it should be below £35,000, 13% £35000, 24% a higher figure). 60% of people say they would support means-testing age related benefits like the winter fuel allowance to help pay for this, 52% would support extending national insurance to people over retirement age to help pay for it.

126 Responses to “More from YouGov’s Sunday Times poll”

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  1. So, the Ugly Contest takes another twist with Miliband now leading the way in being the least despised of our major Party Leaders!!

    Of course, as our PR and corpo-speak friends would say, it’s the direction of travel that counts and, in this respect, Miliband will have the most to be pleased about.

    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

  2. Cameron needs a veto moment.

  3. according to the Daily Mail we stand a 50-50 chance of losing the coveted (and necessary, in the circumstances) AAA credit rating in the next 12 months. Personally I don’t think the chances are as high as that, but still significant. If it does happen, we should prepare to see Ed Balls becoming ever more popular.

  4. For all the excitement in the last year, the polls are almost exactly where they were a year ago. Con may have lost a point or two to UKIP, LD may also have lost a point, but otherwise the situation is strikingly similar (I’m ignoring the change in polling methodology – if we account for that then Lab have slightly improved on last year).

    Where things have really changed, though, is in leader and government approval. From being way behind, EM is now neck-and-neck with DC, and there has been a 10-point worsening in polling of government performance.

    DC’s problem is this. He can’t shift to the left without quickly losing VI to UKIP. But if he keeps the right-wing happy, he’s got no way to pick up new votes.

    I think his only chance at all at the next election will be by staging a well-timed dog-whistle event.

  5. Due to the Leveson effect,the centrist voters are slightly more resistant to overtures this time around as shown by the stability of the polls for more than 3 months.

    From this poll,with no alternative Tory leader in sight,the two sides seem to have to carry on and hope that as and when the economy improves or a big event comes along,Cameron can go to the country after a win.

  6. “Closest to Cameron is William Hague – 28% think he would do better compared to 32% who think he’d do worse.”

    For Con voters they are running are equal an 32%, among 2010 Con voters 35% think Hague would make a better leader, 27% worse.

    Hard to see how Osborne can keep alive his ambition to lead the Conservative party.

  7. If the polls are still showing Lab on 42+ in the new year I will expect to start seeing jitters in both government parties, to be honest I can see slight movements between UKIP and the government parties happening on a regular basis.

    If the LDs want separation before the next election then the LDs are going to have to make a decision on time needed to separate not in the politicians view but in the public’s view. (my opinion is a minimum of 12 months and a new leader (18 months probably better), but the LDs cannot be the one to change leadership first)

    And to be honest that is a whole can of nasty worms for both the government parties, a change of leadership by either party will open the door or give an excuse to separate, the problem is once separation takes place it will get very bloody on the benches…

  8. @Jim (the other one)

    I’m really not convinced that separation and choosing a new leader is going to be a big help for th LibDems. I can see the Tories reclaiming some of their disgruntled voters, but what are the LDs going to do in the run up to 2015? if they stay on a C&S basis then people will ask why they didn’t do that in 2010. If they bring down the Government then they don’t get the time to rebuild and are into a 2013/14 election with a poor record and a probable recession ongoing…

  9. @The Sheep

    “I’m really not convinced that separation and choosing a new leader is going to be a big help for th LibDems.”

    I don’t think there is anything much they can do this side of an election. But the longer they leave it to renounce Clegg and all his works, the longer it will take for them to rebuild, and making a break now might just save a handful of MPs.

  10. I strongly feel that we are heading back to 2 party politics, a more accurate description would be 2 and 2 half party politics, as I feel that the recent trend of the main 2 vote going lower and lower will be reversed.

    In recent history we’ve seen the break up of the traditional 2 party system. The main 2 in the last election only managed to poll around 65% combined, so just slightly less than 2/3 of the total votes.

    However, I believe we will see a reverse of this in 2015 with the left coalescing albeit grudgingly around Labour to prevent 5 more years of tory cuts and austerity. Then the right will be forced to coalesce around Conservatives (even more grudgingly) to stop Labour getting back in and racking up debt and continue spending.

    Then I envisage, Lib Dems and Ukip just being left as 2 minor rump parties, remaining on either side as possible protest votes in future elections, and being a thorn in their larger respective parties for splitting the vote in certain constituencies and allowing the other party in.

    In a way, the rest of the UK is moving closer to the Northern Ireland system rather than the other way around, apart from the divide being based on ideology rather than religion. To explain further, the DUP is the main Unionist party and Sinn Fein the main Nationalist party, with the SDLP and UUP seen as 2 minor players on either side taking a few seats here and there, but overall not many.

  11. For electoral and polling reasons, in my opinion the Lib Dems would be best to have a leadership election in the Autumn, followed by withdrawal from the coalition. The Tories will not risk going for an early GE and will continue as a minority government, challenging the other parties by annoucing ‘bolder’ policies. These will include debates about the UK’s position in the EU. Not withdrawal, but a mandate to renegotiate the terms of our membership of the EU. This would cause Labour and Lib Dems a problem, as they are more pro EU and don’t want to renegotiate existing EU treaties at the moment.

    As I pointed out earlier and Colin disagreed, Cameron and the Tories could deliberately provoke the Lib Dems to leave the coalition, so they can change political/policy direction. Over at Political Betting, the analysis on current polling, is that Labour are 60% likely to form the next majority government, with the Tories only 2% likely to form a majority government. It is 38% likely for a coalition/minority.

    Perhaps the Lib Dems have worked out the likely strategy the Tories would follow if the coalition ended and they will hang in there whatever the Tories try to do to provoke a divorce.

  12. @The Sheep

    “I’m really not convinced that separation and choosing a new leader is going to be a big help for the LibDems.”

    I am not saying it will help them, but a lot of chatter about this is going on…

    I think the moment a separation takes place there will be several LD MPs going blue, I don’t think they have a choice, but again I don’t think it will help the LDs at all

    I think the moment a separation takes place there will be several LD MPs going blue, I don’t think they have a choice, but again I don’t think it will help the LDs at all

    LDs and Ukip may well silently slip back into “others” at the next GE not even an irritation

  13. I think the most worrying things in the poll for Cameron will be that he is now seen as being weak and having run out of ideas. Being weak is not acceptable in British political leaders and ‘running out of ideas’ is the very thing that causes people to think ‘its time for a change’. He is seen as running out of ideas at a surprisingly early stage in his tenure. This is maybe because they went for a splurge of ideas at the very beginning which if they’d eked out a little more judiciously they would have had new major legislation to announce now. The ‘splurge’ politics approach has proved negative for them. It led to huge announcements followed by all too public backtracking in places as they refined the legislation. As an electorate we are not used to this approach. Secondly it has left them with a threadbare queens speech this time around.

    Interesting experiment by them but really not as well managed in the end as the 100days campaign by Blair. It has left them with a problem.

  14. Regarding the discussion above I personally feel the Liberal Democrats will not change leader. They seem to be going instead for an approach which involves reducing Clegg’s role as the main spokesman and representative of the party and wheeling out as many grandees as possible to put the Lib Dem case. I am puzzled as to how they will recover in a future election if they do not reach out fairly swiftly to the offended left leaning voter who used to vote for them and maybe a change of leadership would be necessary for this. It seems to me that they rely on people interpreting their actions in the right light and this is just not happening so a big signal would have to occur that they are changing their ways. To be honest though I think they may be caught between a rock and a hard place and have little room for manoeuvre at this stage.

  15. “The best they [LibDems] can do now is accept that all they can take away from this coalition is to go down in history as having governed in coalition for five years, even though it will wipe out their party in the process, oh, and in the meantime we Conservatives can say goodbye to boundary changes. Each Liberal Democrat seat takes twenty five years to win. There is no way they are going to throw seats away without getting something in return to guarantee there will be LibDem bums on seats in at least one House in Parliament.”

    An interesting summary from Nadine Dorries. ND would probably like boundary changes not to go through because I believe she’ll lose her seat. One doubts she will be given another, unless she is now so high profile that she can’t be passed over.

  16. Coalition needs both parties to work together but the electorate also expect one party to question the other when things go wrong and not provide blind support.

    In the case of Jeremy Hunt and the economic plan not working,Lib Dems have refused to act as the conscience of the coalition.

  17. @Robin

    “DC’s problem is this. He can’t shift to the left without quickly losing VI to UKIP. But if he keeps the right-wing happy, he’s got no way to pick up new votes.”

    I agree with your analysis. On of the mistakes I think that a lot of people make when they shuffle chunks of votes around as if they were amorphous masses of opinion is that it fails to recognise the subtleties you allude too. I’ve seen some people argue that come election day most, if not all, of the UKIP vote will “come back” to the Tories so, ipso facto, add 7 to 35 and, hey presto, the Tories are on 42%. Of course, what this fails to recognise is that if Cameron has shifted his party’s policies sufficiently rightwards to win back that amount of existing UKIP support, then he will have done so at the expense of losing his existing centrist support. So 35 plus 7 is an equation that will never exist.

    The other side of this circle that can’t be squared is that by remaining centrist enough to retain his existing level of support, Cameron will continue to alienate those now pledging to vote UKIP. In other words, and to put it the vernacular, he’s up a nasty creek without a paddle.

    No wonder Nigel Farage looked so insufferably pleased with himself on Marr’s programme this morning as he sifted through the latest batch of disastrous headlines for the Government in today’s newspapers!

  18. Ed Davey on Sky saying the coalition agreement is not “pick & mix”- the Prime Minister & Conservative Party “have to deliver it”

    Nadhim Zahawi ( of this parish :-) ) also on Sky saying the “coalition” needs to be rethought , because party politics is overriding everything at present.

    There will be more of this stuff. It could be a long slow death.

  19. @ Tinged, the Other Howard & Joe James B

    Meanwhile: Jeremy Hunt has said that it is “completely normal” for a contractor to fail to deliver on a major project as questions continued about the inability of G4S to provide security officials for the Olympic Games.
    It looks like Mr Hunt is back in the real world too. NB before anybody gets too excited, he said it is “normal”, he didn’t say it is acceptable.

    However, that it is “normal” & ‘to be expected’ & ‘there was need for a plan B & the government had a plan B, deploy troops’ should give other government departments pause. Will there always be enough troops around to pick up the slack in policing, prisons & the NHS when a “completely normal” private sector failure happens?

  20. @cat – ” …run out of ideas”

    I had been tempted to make a facetious comment about the Big Society… but you make the more valid point that this has happened so quickly. A further raft of cutbacks does not qualify as new thinking.

    When Steve Hilton left for California in March it was said he would return in time for the next election, that may come too late for Cameron. Instead there is a reliance on polling advice about welfare scroungers and immigration. It could be that the real loss was Coulson, not just for the sure-footed friendly media treatment (which Craig Oliver does not seem to be able to replicate), but perhaps also for his link to the supportive nexus which contributed on the ideas side as well.

  21. @Billy Bob

    Steve Hilton’s “Blue Sky Thinking” parting shots have almost certainly tipped his hand, and it’s a busted flush. Reducing the public sector even more than planned? Savage slashing into welfare benefits beyond what has already taken place? Not only unpopular, but not really ‘new ideas’.

    Like Osborne, I think Hilton’s ‘strategic genius’ was little more than having a “Shrink the Government by Austerity” ideology just when that become popular. Should they bring him back for the Election, I don’t see him bringing in any new ideas just more ‘radical’ cuts and austerity.

    I’m not sure that Coulson ever was a great benefit to the Conservatives, so much as not incompetent at his job. He could tell them when to phrase something so it appeared nice when it was really nasty. However, that couldn’t last. You can give a rabid mutt a poodle cut, but it’s still a rabid mutt.

    To get them out of this, they need some more Ken Clarks, ready to give the ‘Sensible, but compassionate to the little people’ stuff. But they lashed themselves to the wheel of Austerity, and Osborne has painted the party into a corner by repeatedly labelling all alternatives to The One True Way as disastrous.

  22. The real “real” world:

    The NHS is actually great everywhere as I have had fantastic support in Barnard Castle from very committed, hard-working GP’s and specialists.

    I think that is pretty definitive.

  23. @Crossbat11

    To a great extent, the rise of UKIP is the Conservative party’s fault, not for failing to support the right wing, but by trying to straddle both the centre and the right at the same time. Cherry picking from the UKIP gospel legitimises UKIP, but makes the Conservatives look like weak beer compared to real ale by ‘refusing’ to go the whole way. By doing this they’ve quite likely pushed more people to UKIP, than if they’d tried to hold the centre ground. And enacting policies to get them back will lose them more centrists than they’ll gain from their rightward fringe. And the death of the Liberal Democrats as a meaningful party means that dis-satisfied centrists have no “centre vote” to move to…

  24. “His better ratings are 40% who see him as decisive (47% indecisive)”

    While 13% weren’t sure. ;)

  25. Statgeek
    I suppose the 13% just see him as either, some of the time?

  26. I notice that, on this blog, only people, without a gold or blue colour behind their contributions, are predicting an end to the Coalition.

    Mind you, I can’t remember when I last saw a blue one (even though some of the contributions sound like a Michael Fallon).

  27. @ Statgeek

    LOL :-)

  28. I suppose colleagues have born in mind the silly season and the fact that tax demands are arriving on doormats. I have to pay over £1000 back tax, but I am ‘baby boomer rich’ of course.

    Most ‘hard working families’ will see a further marked real reduction in incomes this year and I respectfully suggest that this will have more affect on VI than what they think of leaders with red cheeks (etc).

  29. effect not affect.

  30. On rocks and hard places: the following link to an article at Lib Dem Voice – and also the comments below it – gives good insight into the LDs current predicament.

    I was struck by one comment that said that even by sticking with the coalition to prove it that it works (perhaps their current least worse of a whole stack of woeful options), even then, when it comes to the next election three-quarters of the seats they’d hope to win are against the Tories but they’d have to squeeze the Labour vote in order to win them. How on earth are they going to do that?!


    There is a certain irony in a supporter of a minority party suggesting that their former voters might ” just switch instead to minority parties”.

  32. Old Nat – well spotted ;-)

  33. On the discussion about the Conservatives losing votes to UKIP, and the dilemma they are in – i.e. whether to tack to the ‘right’ or not.

    There is an alternative, though it has eluded every Tory leader since Mrs Thatcher. Many working class traditional voters hold some views that would often be classed as ‘right-wing’. These include restricting or stopping immigration, being much tougher on crime, etc etc. This is backed up by polls, and anecdotally by the fact that Labour themselves play for this vote at times – e.g. Brown’s “British jobs for British workers”.

    If the Tories can convince these voters that they are more trustworthy on these issues than Labour or LibDems they could still win the next election whether or not UKIP voters return to the fold in big numbers..

  34. Old Nat – Indeed. :-)

    I could only see this happening if the coalition ends prematurely, Simon Hughes takes over as Leader and at the same time New Labour types start to get muscular with Ed, and at the same time the Tories split on EU. (Phew!).

    I suppose the latter is the most likely of all those.

  35. Pete B
    That has never worked previously although I know you dream of that heady day.

  36. Howard,
    I think Mrs Thatcher achieved it to some extent. She did alienate many of course, but also at one period gained many working class votes by giving people the right to buy their council houses, encouraging ‘Sid’ to buy British Gas shares, reducing basic rate Income Tax etc.

    By the way, I don’t dream of any heady day. I’m trying to give unbiased analysis. I don’t necessarily want the Tories to succeed at this, I’m just outlining a possible strategy for them. As it happens, similar positioning might also help Labour to regain their lost 5 million votes (though they would risk losing others, as would the Tories).

  37. I think if DC wants to win next time, he has to have very broad appeal, like Thatcher or Blair. Tacking this way and that probably won’t help that much. Something like 3-5% right leaning votes are lost to him to UKIP for the foreseeable future. That’s a lot when Labour are consistently polling 40% plus. Mid 30’s was just about enough to beat Gordon Brown and a discredited, worn-out administration, but next time, probably not enough.

  38. Fraser Nelson in the Spectator says that if the Lib Dems won`t support boundary changes,then the Tories would want to move to Confidence and Supply.This would enable Cameron to appoint 20 more Tory ministers and serve up a Tory agenda.Not only does this keep the party united,but also bring back voters from UKIP.

    Given that Lib Dems are polling 10%,they may have little alternative to this as they wouldn`t want a general election.

  39. cameron needs 40% at the next election even if seat changes are approved. the problem for cameron is that most lib dem voters are ex-labour voters or tactical ex-con so every vote conservative get from lib dems labour are getting 6 or 7. also depending on how you reed the polls labour could be on for a big big majority if everything stays the same

  40. As I understand it the Liberal Democrats have 2 main arguments used to support being in coalition.
    First the National interest stuff, bring down deficit etc and only time will tell how this pans out; how much credit will they get from the aggregate of voters if the Governments Economic policies are being viewed more favourable as the GE approaches and how much blame if not.
    On Economic policies and the choices within the fiscal framework their refrain is ‘it would be worse without us’.
    In this context imo they can only realistically switch to C&S after the last Queens speech has been agreed as they can’t ‘rein’ in the Conservatives if they are not involved in deciding primary legislation.
    I am fairly sure the dates have not been set yet but a deal may be done to allow the 2014 party conferences to take place with C&S in place.

  41. @Pete B

    “As it happens, similar positioning might also help Labour to regain their lost 5 million votes (though they would risk losing others, as would the Tories).”

    To some extent, if current polls are to be believed, a good chunks of the “lost five million” are in the process of returning. I’d put them into three categories; firstly, 97 voters who declined to vote for anyone in 01, 05 and 10 (see lower turnouts in those elections), secondly those who switched to the Lib Dems, particularly in 05 and 10 and, thirdly, a smaller group I think, who may have voted Tory in 2010.

    If Labour get 40% or more on a 70% turnout in 2015 then, to a very large extent, those ex-voters you refer to will have returned. There are a lot of “ifs” in that sentence, I admit and, sadly, I think turnouts of much more than 60% may be things of the past, but I can see the people who declined to vote Labour again after 1997 returning from their current disparate hiding places. For the Tories to get back to over 40% looks more problematical to me, especially if you consider the recent polling evidence that suggests they have the smallest pool of potential voters than any of the other major political parties.

    Lastly, a note of caution on the immigration, crime, welfare and European issues. Whilst there is a lot of polling data that suggests that these are potentially vote winning issues for a party adopting populist policies, there is no evidence that, when push comes to shove, people actually vote for such a party in great numbers. Hague, IDS, Howard and, to some extent Cameron, can vouch for that. We weren’t thinking what they were thinking, obviously.

  42. Out of interest I have been very sceptical to date about this shift in vote to UKIP from Conservatives, thinking it must be fairly soft. However I was speaking to a lifetime Conservative voter from the South East who seemed very sure that they would be voting UKIP next time. I was actually surprised. Its just anecdotal but it was my first experience of a ‘real’ person who represented that particular cohort in the polls. I still wait to see how this translates in the next election as I can’t believe there would be enough of these people to knock out any Conservative seats in the South East strongholds so it will truly be a protest vote. I suppose Cameron might come up with an EU policy to please them and rope them back in before then anyway.

  43. YAY! I actually took this survey, interesting to see how my results match :)

  44. CrossBat
    That was precisely my point to Pete B when I wrote that it had been tried before (and failed).

    The reactionary Con government of 79 onwards, was that, a reaction. There is nothing to react to now.

    The notion that LD will write its own demise (further demise) by ending the coalition is fiction unless Lords reform is scuppered. This is all it has left, but does not need an Agreement Mark 2, just a willingness by cameron to implement the Bill. So it is more likely that a bewildered Cameron will end the Coalition by not standing up to his own backbenchers.

    In the end it is my view, previously expressed ages ago, that it was ‘being it’ that motivated him, not ‘doing it’.

    He can walk away from it any time he chooses.

  45. @ Smukesh

    The Nelson article is headlined: “The post-‘Cuban missile crisis’ coalition compromise”
    This ain’t a government; it’s a god-damned arms race?

  46. Amber

    And also from Nelson’s article – “It would allow Cameron to appoint about twenty more Tory ministers, which would help reunite his parliamentary party”.

    That ain’t a government, it’s a god-damned employment agency!

  47. @Smukesh and @AmberStar

    But both.sides got what they wanted in 1962. The US got Soviet missiles removed from Cuba and the Soviets got American missiles moved from Turkey. That the full story isn’t always reported does not mean that the event was a win-win for one side (the US).

    Anyway, I digress. The Tories have done too well out of the Coalition to want it to end. The article is just the usual guff from a right wing Conservative waving a placard stating “(apart from the NHS, Tuition Fees, delayed Banking and HoL Reform) what has the Coalition done for us?”

  48. @ Old Nat

    They’ve all clearly lost the plot. Jeeze, no wonder we had 13 years of Faux Labour & the SNP here in Scotland. The other two parties can’t walk & chew gum at the same time (politically speaking)! :roll:

  49. @RAF
    `“(apart from the NHS, Tuition Fees, delayed Banking and HoL Reform) what has the Coalition done for us?”`

    Rather than the concern about implementing their agenda for this Parliament,it is more about winning the next one.

  50. Amber

    I think it confirms the view that what Kellner (rather strangely described as “valence options”) and what the Scottish Election Studies simply described as “competence”, is what most people are actually looking for in government.

    Get a reputation for being even more useless than the other lot, and it’s a long way back.

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