There are two new polls tonight. First YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 44%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8%. Labour’s lead in back in double figures, but well within the normal margin of error of the Labour leads of 9-10 points that YouGov have been showing of late.

Secondly is Populus’s monthly poll for the Times which has topline figures of CON 34%(+1), LAB 40%(-1), LDEM 12%(+3), Others 15%(-2). Changes are from Populus’s last poll a month ago. Populus also asked their tracker questions on party image and questions on the reshuffle that is expected in coming months.

On party image there are some sharp drops for the Conservatives, most noticably in terms of competence and unity. Populus last asked the same questions back in March, around the start of the government’s “omnishambles” period. Back then 46% saw the Conservatives as “competent and capable”, this has now dropped twelve points to 34%, putting them marginally behind Labour. On being united the Conservative drop is even sharper – in March 42% of people saw the Tories as united, that has since dropped fourteen points to 28%.

For the reshuffle, Populus asked if each minister should stay or go. The public’s favourite for the boot was Andrew Lansley, with 53% of people who knew who he was thinking he should go. He was followed by Jeremy Hunt, of whom 48% thought he should go. More surprisingly given the lack of major scandal or hugely unpopular policies, Theresa May came third on 46%, followed by George Osborne on 45%. Much more popular were Ken Clarke (only 36% thought he should go) and William Hague on 20%.

78 Responses to “New YouGov and Populus polls”

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  1. @Chris Neville-Smith

    “Sacking Theresa May for failing to magic up efficiencies and savings that no Home Secretary could possibly deliver would be a cynical act of scapegoating.”

    Indeed it would. And pretty much every home office failure, excepting getting the dates of an appeal wrong, are down to cutbacks removing staff from where they were needed.

    But the decision will be made by those in the Conservative party that dictated these cuts should be made.

    Call me a cynic but…

  2. Can our financial expert correspondents prove to me that cutting labour intensive services is likely to have less negative impact on the economy than cutting capital intensive ones? I appreciate that buying a new aircraft carrier is actually going to result in new or retained jobs, and appreciate that cutting a social service worker may not result in loss of related jobs, just worsened service, (in theory), but I just wonder if there is some magic formula for this stuff.

    I imagine the Treasury scratches its head over this.


    I’ll leave the theory to our “financial expert correspondents”.

    However, the other aspect of capital intensive programmes should be that the programme should result in a positive for society. An aircraft carrier, or the building of a new railway bill both produce “new or retained jobs” (though not necessarily for the same people). Digging holes and filling them in again also produces new jobs.

    Isn’t the question of whether the aircraft carrier is a “better” end product of that capital spending than building a new Forth crossing, or increased social housing, exactly what politics is about?

  4. Just wondering whether we’ll still be getting polls during parliament’s summer break. Thanks in advance

  5. Tonight’s: CON 34%, LAB 43%, LD 8%, UKIP 7%; APP -36

  6. @Craig


  7. Looked in but everyone is presumably at the unexpected barbecue opportunity.

  8. Polls are polarised.

    Does anyone else feel that the real life shambles of the Olympic security recruitment is even more amusing then the BBC2 Olympic spoof ‘2012’.

    You couldn’t make up the question and answer session at today’s Commons home affairs select committee with Nick Buckle of G4S and Labour’s David Winnick. A real comedy moment. Rule Britannia! ;-)

  9. Paul
    You are clearly at as loose an end as I. Yes, I wondered what the value was of both committees. Doubtless someone will post that VI will be drastically affected.

  10. Tory VI firming up a little perhaps, but not behind Cameron… behind the Tories who voted down Lords reform.

    Cameron has in some respects been marking time since the “big bold offer” to Nick Clegg in the aftermath of the general election; playing out the consequences of the hastily constructed coalition agreement, letting his ministers do their thing, keeping intact the delicately balanced distribution of cabinet posts.

    There will be no coalition two point o… just a recommitment from Dave and Nick (we survive as party leaders as long as we can keep belting out “This ole house ain’t a-gettin’ shaky,
    This ole house ain’t a-gettin’ old”), but Nick – knowing Lords reform will never go through – now has a boundary review/reduction in number of MPs veto up his sleeve.

    Yoked to Nick, Cameron needs to find a way to establish some authority over his party – a big bold reshuffle would be a start.

  11. HOWARD

    “VI will be drastically affected”.

    Could be – but V and VII may be unaffected, being prime numbers.

  12. ON
    Yes, the silly season has arrived. The weather is getting better in sympathy.

  13. Howard

    You have simply sent the rain in a north-westerly direction. That’s going to be good for NW Scotland, including the Hebrides.

    Not an area that is used to precipitation deprivation.

  14. I heard that from the WT and rejoiced for you.

  15. This article by David Laws is of significance only in so far that it could have been written by any coalition-supporting Conservative. It’s becoming a habit of his. He may not be planning to jump ship, but it’s exactly the sort of thing you would expect him to write if he wanted to prepare the ground for doing so.

  16. “Guardian and Observer report losses of £44.2m”

    Hopefully, this isn’t the kind of Guardian report that Anthony dislikes!

    “the publisher will seek between 70 and 100 journalist redundancies from a workforce of about 650 via a reopened voluntary programme.”

    Perhaps someone will run a poll as to which of them should leave?

  17. OLDNAT

    Perhaps someone will run a poll as to which of them should leave?

    I’ll vote for the editor of the Guardian who urged us to vote Lib Dem. I know several people who have never bought it since.

  18. @Stockport Red
    “I know several people who have never bought it since.”
    It might be something to do with the total lack of contrition over the past two years.

  19. PHIL

    For me,they made up for it by exposing the phone hacking scandal…Otherwise,we could have seen a very different media scene today

  20. Oldnat – there was a fascinating article about the Guardian in GQ this month:

    An interesting nugget in there is that there is an automatic strike ballot at the Guardian if there are any compulsory redundancies (voluntary ones are fine).

  21. Some fascinating divergent opinions on the economy. A number of market watchers have been trumpeting the unexpectedly large fall in inflation and today’s decent employment stats as signs that things are moving into positive territory, while other are expecting worse to come, with industrial survey data not looking at all rosy. It’s a genuinely interesting and critical judgement.

    Given the BoE has just gone in for more QE, it looks like they are on the side of the pessimists. I also think it’s wrong to assign the fall in inflation to the ‘good news’ category. Although low inflation will help reduce the squeeze on household budgets, the reasons behind the sharp fall were to do with negatives – a lack of demand. It’s also worth bearing in mind that total wages (inc bonuses) have only risen 1.7% yoy, so the squeeze is still very much on.

    The employment figures are also highly intriguing, but there may be an explanation. While total employment has risen 0.3% over the quarter, overall productivity has been flat for a year and has fallen 0.7% on the quarter. I’ve not got the remotest idea why this should be the case, but if these figures are accurate it means that we have more people working but producing less. Presumably, this would make the increased employment consistent with a shrinking economy, so these figures may resolve some of the apparent inconsistencies.

    In terms of where we are going, with sterling appreciating markedly against the Euro and major food and possibly oil price rises in the pipeline and a major contraction coming in the US, it’s difficult to get too exciting about the inflation and employment stats just yet.

  22. ALEC

    @”it’s difficult to get too exciting about the inflation and employment stats just yet.”

    I find it quite easy actually-just a little excited anyway.

    :-) :-) :-)

    The headline unemployment numbers have huge political resonance. You can bet your bottom dollar EM would have been on the rooftops , if they had been going up.

    At least he has to retreat to other matters at present-like getting pension fund admin costs wrong.(i)

    (1) “Turn your guns on the really big rip-off ED”
    David Wighton.
    The Times.

  23. @Colin – I think the inflation figures are a sign of how bad things are, and if my last post is correct, employment stats suggest we are producing less as an economy overall – these are not things to get excited by.

    On the pensions thing – I can’t see beyond the Times paywall, but would be interested in what the article says. I’ve seen various reactions to Ed’s intervention on pensions (which oddly enough is an area where the coalition is also making identical noises).

    These reactions seem to be broadly categorized as saying he is wrong, with these responses coming from organisations involved or representing pension provision, or agreeing he is right, from sources not making money from pensions.

    I’ll reserve my final judgement until I see more information, but if you had to ask me whether I trust a banker, pension fund manager or anyone else within the finance sector when they tell me they behave ethically, fairly and always in the best interests of the customer, I would have to say that my requirement for the standards of evidence I require before I will agree with them is set pretty high right now.

  24. “The number of people employed in the public sector was 5.90 million in March 2012, down 39,000 from December 2011.
    The number of people employed in the private sector in March 2012 was 23.38 million, up 205,000 from December 2011.”

    Labour Market Stats.
    July 2012

  25. ALEC

    @” I think the inflation figures are a sign of how bad things are, ”

    I presume you are referring to the cost of clothing falling due to weather related promotional sales . Of course that won’t do retail margins any favours.-but easing of pressure on hardpressed domestic budgets is most definitely good news after such a prolonged period of high inflation. Food prices and the cost of transport added to the fall in inflation-which is at the heart of household spending.
    THe gap between pay ( + 1.5% pa in Qtr to April) & prices ( + 2.4%) has substantially narrowed.-it is down to under i % pt.
    THis is GOOD news.

    @”and if my last post is correct, employment stats suggest we are producing less as an economy overall ”

    YEs-the ONS Bulletin makes it clear:-

    “Whole economy output per worker fell by 0.7 per cent between the fourth quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012.”

    That is the price the economy has paid for keeping people on the payroll-even on short hours.

    Would you rather employers had been more draconian in adjusting payrolls?-I doubt it -I think you would have been complaining about increasing unemployment & a private sector not doing what it could to compensate for the heartless slashing of public sector jobs.

    I think it was Howard who recently chided you gently for indulging in economic commentary which was not neccessarily related to public interest & effect -and prospective VI.

    I do the same thing-for the same reason-I find it interesting.

    But lower inflation & unemployment IS good news for many many people who vote. :-)

  26. The Elephant in the Room :-

    “Employment by country of birth and nationality, changes on year between January-March
    2011 and January-March 2012, not seasonally adjusted

    UK country of birth:- Down 8k
    Non-UK country of birth :- Up 16k

    UK nationals :- Down 43k
    Non-UK nationals :- Up 49k

    A read across to the recent Census population figures, and IDS’ initiatives on Welfare to Work & Troubled Families would perhaps be over simplistic.

    But one only has to see the last YouGov OP results for
    ” Which of the following do you think are the most
    important issues facing the country at this time?”to see what fertile political ground this still is :-

    Immigration-2nd priority-up 6 to 50 %

  27. @Colin – lower inflation is certainly better than higher, but as you point out, people are still seeing spending power shrink – just by not as much.

    Likewise, overall economic output. I think it’s a major success that people are sharing work around, but if the economy is still shrinking, it’s not great news.

    I would also gently disagree with @Howards comments the other day. Of course he is correct that it’s all about public perception, but the issue then was about the Euro. I would argue that the biggest public perception about the Euro currently is that it isn’t working. I was pointing out an very obscure and hard to understand reason as to why that is the case. The detail was obscure, but the overall issue was (in my view) bang on line with public perceptions.

    With the current economic data, I would imagine that no ‘normal’ voters will give two hoots about 0.7% shifts in productivity or whether GDP numbers are going up or down. I think they will be much more concerned with whether life feels better or worse.

    My argument is precisely the same as @Howard’s. On these numbers, although some people are trying to argue they are ‘good news’ most normal people will be wondering what they are talking about, with spending power still falling and companies still struggling.

  28. ALEC

    “good news” is a relative term.-not an absolute one.

    Most “normal” people know why “life feels worse” than it did in 2006 or 2007.

    And most “normal people” watch the news & read the papers, and see a world afflicted by economic problems in varying degrees from not like it used to be -to absolutely disastrous.

    So they make their minds up on a comparative basis when thinking abour whether news is “good” or “bad”.

    It may have escaped your attention that when YouGov last asked the question “Thinking about the way the government is cutting spending to reduce the government’s deficit, do you think this is Necessary or unnecessary?” the answer was a net +24 Necessary.

    In the same Poll they still thought the answer to the question “And who do you think is most to blame for the current spending cuts?” was Labour rather than the current Government.

    So I repeat-for the majority of people, who are in work, more hours ,& falling CPI inflation is good news.

    And even for those who have lost their job, an easing of cost increases is a help.

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