Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 43%, LD 8%, UKIP 7% – very much a case of “polldrums”.

I’m not sure the tables have gone up as they should yet, but yesterday YouGov also did some questions on perceptions of David Cameron and Ed Miliband showing people a series of paired attributes such as strong or weak, trustworthy or untrustworthy, competent or incompetent, and asking which best applied to each man.

The large majority of ratings were negative, but David Cameron’s best (or least worst) ratings were on being seen as competent (37%), strong (35%), up to the job (35%) and having a clear sense of purpose (35%). His worst ratings by far were on caring about ordinary people (just 22%) and being in touch (25% – with 67% seeing him as out of touch).

Ed Miliband’s ratings were almost the exact opposite, his strongest attributes were being seen to care about ordinary people (46%) and being in touch (35%). However, his main weaknesses were on being strong (22%), decisive (21%) and being up to the job (22% – with 55% thinking he is not up to the job).

David Cameron’s is increasingly being seen as out of touch and uncaring towards ordinary people… but does better on being seen as a strong and competent leader. Ed Miliband is seen as much more in touch and caring, but has still not convinced people he is up to the job.

89 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 33, LAB 43, LD 8, UKIP 7”

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  1. @Nick P

    There is no reason why Tax cuts cannot be made in 2014, all that is required is some real cuts in state spending.

  2. Amber Star:

    If only Ipsos MORI had bothered asking about Miliband (and Clegg) in this survey:

    Party leaders – Net satisfaction
    1003 Scottish adults
    7-13 June 2012

    Alex Salmond +13
    Patrick Harvie +12
    Johann Lamont +9
    Willie Rennie -4
    Ruth Davidson -7
    David Cameron -46

    I would guesstimate that Miliband would rank between Rennie and Cameron, and Clegg’s figures would break some kind of world record.


    I think that is partly the point. Austerity that involves increased spending..?

    If you are going to cut spending, decide what you want to cut (decide what you are no lomger going to do, or pay for) . Don’t go for percentage across the board indiscriminate cuts.

  4. Crossbat,

    I was rather intrigued by your statement:

    – “I think we overrate the effect that party leaders have on the outcome of General Elections. It’s easy to conclude that Blair’s personal qualities as a leader were the decisive reasons behind Labour’s hat trick of election victories, but it would be wrong to do so. They won because a sufficient proportion of the electorate felt that their living standards would be best protected by their continuation in office. In 1997, there was an overriding desire to get rid of the incumbents, as there was in 2010, but in 2001 and 2005, rising living standards for the majority swept Labour back into office, rather like it did for Thatcher in the 1980s. We voted with our wallets.”

    I am intrigued because so many commentators (both SNP-leaning and vociferous opponents of the SNP) have attributed the stunning May 2011 Scottish GE result to Mr Salmond’s overwhelming personal poll ratings lead over Mr Gray. In fact at one crucial point shortly before polling, Iain Gray was actually trailing the Tory Leader Annabel Goldie(!!)

    Do you think that:
    a) The SNP won because a sufficient proportion of the electorate felt that their living standards would be best protected by their continuation in office?
    b) Scots voted with their wallets?

  5. re productivity. Does anyone know how the statisticians treat people on government training schemes, trying to set up on their own, in part-time work etc. If productivity=gdp/hours work, it would be useful to understand what counts as an hour of work.

  6. Do the figures for people “in work” come from g4S? Cos we might soon have full employment if they do.

    Let’s put them in charge of EVERYTHING.

    (Oh…we are)

  7. @ Anthony Wells

    Well it seems your website has somehow caught the ire of the Chinese government, for it seems to have been blocked (what has between yesterday and today is anyone’s guess), Good news, I have my VPN to follow the latest polling shenanigans!

  8. @ Stuart Dickson

    The +9 for Johann Lamont is a pleasant surprise. I think Ed M might just sneak in ahead of Willie Rennie after Ed’s attendance at the Miners Gala. I wouldn’t bet money on it, though.

  9. @ Stuart Dickson

    Do you think that:
    a) The SNP won because a sufficient proportion of the electorate felt that their living standards would be best protected by their continuation in office?
    b) Scots voted with their wallets?
    I do.
    They voted for continuing:
    Council tax freeze
    Free university education
    Free NHS focussed on UK NHS patients, with Scottish hospitals not topping up their income by having 49% to (in theory) 100% of capacity being available to the private sector.
    Free prescriptions
    Free care for the elderly
    Free roads & bridges
    Public ownership of water

    University tuition, privatisation of the NHS, care for the elderly were all hot subjects during the 2010 GE & immediate aftermath.
    So yes, IMO, Scots voted with their wallets.

  10. @ The Other Howard

    There is no reason why Tax cuts cannot be made in 2014, all that is required is some real cuts in state spending.
    David Cameron agrees with you, according to his latest interview. But, IMO, all it does is remind many people of the shambles at the last budget [snip]; the tax give away was directed towards corporations (except Greggs!) & the top 1% of earners.

  11. I see that another of the ‘Free’ schools will not open in September due to lack of pupils.

    It seems parents are rejecting them.

  12. The plural of anecdote is not data.


    ‘the tax give away was directed towards corporations (except Greggs!) & the top 1% of earners.’

    But the last budget aimed for the rich to pay 45% of their pay whereas I believe currently they pay about 10%. So I am not sure why you think it particularly helped the rich. In fact, the attempt to control non doms and also stamp duty on property must have been very irritating to the rich, whereas I am sure most of them viewed the higher rate of tax whether 40%, 45% , 50% or 90% as irrelevant.

  14. @Stuart D
    Ipsos/MORI themselves commented on the fall in Salmond’s satisfaction rating in that Scottish poll. His recent net rating of +13 compares with +35 in December 2011. That must be worrying for the SNP, in case it represents a trend.

    It isn’t that long ago that Cameron was considered to be an asset for the Conservatives.

  15. @Amber
    I agree with you about the net position being the critical aspect in the Cameron v Miliband poll. For the benefit of those who cannot be bothered to access the tables, the net position of Cameron and Miliband on each question is shown below.

    Attributes on which Cameron is ahead:
    Up to the job Cameron -17, Miliband -33, Difference = 16
    Sense of purpose -20, -28 = 8
    Decisive -20, -30 = 10
    Strong -13, -33 = 20

    Attributes on which Miliband is ahead:
    In touch -42, -11 = 31
    Trustworthy -27, -7 = 20
    Competant -12, -10 = 2
    Cares about ordinary people -43, +14 = 57

    Miliband’s mean lead per question is 7, so I think the position for him is a bit more positive than Anthony paints. Nonetheless you could argue that the “up to the job/not up to the job” question is more important than some of the others.

  16. Is there any actual evidence that these individual ratings actually produce any results in elections or effect polling. The fact that the majority of the country don’t expect Ed would make a good PM, and yet he has a 10 point lead over Cameron who’s ratings are arguably better, suggests one of two things.

    a) These personal results don’t matter in the world of party politics

    b) Or Cameron is doing so badly the country will vote for anyone just to get rid of him.

    I always follow the adage that an election is for the government to lose rather than the opposition to win.
    Mr Brown was seen as largely incompetent and being terrible at the job, and so the public dealt him a blow at every opportunity in every election under his premiership. Now Mr Cameron is showing a similar display of incompetence and being a disaster and the public again are reacting to deal blows every opportunity they get.

    The ineffectiveness of both parties really does leaving me feeling depressed about the State of UK politics. I worry even if Labour do retake power in 2015, have they been out of power long enough, to have a fresh start, fresh ideas, and renewed competence?

  17. @ Henry

    The voters don’t view the wealthy as paying more tax after the budget; polling shows that many believe the wealthy willpay less. Check the polling about it around the time of the budget.

  18. This from the latest IMF report –
    “The euro area crisis has reached a new and critical stage. Despite major policy actions, financial markets in parts of the region remain under acute stress, raising questions about the viability of the monetary union itself.”

    The adverse links between sovereigns, banks, and the real economy are stronger than ever. Financial markets are increasingly fragmenting along national borders.

    The euro area is in an uncomfortable and unsustainable halfway point. While it is sufficiently integrated to allow escalating problems in one country to spill over to others, it lacks the economic flexibility or policy tools to deal with these spillovers.

    Crucially, the euro area also lacks essential financial and fiscal policy tools to stabilise the monetary union. As the crisis has illustrated, without a strong common financial stability framework, banking problems are hard to contain and resolve in an integrated market.”

    Even the IMF is now saying the current Euro is doomed.

  19. We are also seeing the problems inherent in using the plaudits of external organisations as proof that you are doing the right thing.

    The IMF is now calling for the UK government to draw up a plan B and start relaxing austerity, as economic performance has been so lacklustre. It’s almost as if Balls is now running the IMF.

  20. ALEC
    The Euro will struggle on and survive I think.

    The UK economy will also struggle but survive.

    I think the Coalition will struggle on and survive until 9/14.

  21. Lord Ashcroft’s polling & analysis may answer some of the points about which Colin was musing yesterday.

    Ashcroft also writes about it, in the Telegraph Politics section – although it’s not as direct & pithy as his writing usually is.

  22. I believe the Coalition will linger on until May 2014. I can see from now until then things getting increasingly heated, and seams starting to show, but it will carry on. I think they will operate around the State Opening of Parliament. It used to be held in November/December sometime, but has now been moved to May which is the same month of general elections now under the Fixed Term Bill.

    So I think it’s likely the Coalition will last up until that point, but when Parliament opens in May 2014, it will be as a new Minority Conservative Govermnent, rather than the Coalition, allowing both parties 1 year to regain their separate identities, and to allow both leaders to magic up points to attack the other on in the 2015 election campaign and debates.

    Anyone else believe this is plausible?

  23. AMBER

    Thanks for that DT link.

    Fascinating-the guy really focuses down.

    Hope DC follows up :-)

  24. @ Anmary
    ‘1 year to regain their separate identities, and to allow both leaders to magic up points to attack the other on in the 2015 election campaign and debates.’

    I remain far from convinced that we will have ‘the debates’ next time – certainly not in the same format as 2010.. Nobody will formally reject them- merely a failure to agree on the form they should take.

  25. Ashcroft belongs to that shrinking constituency of Tories who think that if they combine welfare shrinking, privatisation, toguh on crime and immigration and some sort of EU stomping then the Conservatives will resume their rightful place governing the country.

    Problem is whenever they have a General Election their are more people who despise this approach than support it. They need more than 30% of voters mostly made up of aging southerners to vote for them.

  26. Repetition of “shrinking”.

    :-) :-)

  27. NickP I’m not so sure, while I don’t really agree with those traditional Tory views I think Cameron may benefit politically from returning to them.

    At the moment, one of Cameron’s many big problems, is that he is trying to appeal to everybody and in doing so, is appealing to no one. His overtures and token gestures are not going to lure many left wing voters away from their more traditional homes, and into the Tory party. All he is doing by reaching out to these, is alienating his own base.

    Now there’s the immediate impact of loss of polling support to UKIP, but also the more longer term, less direct effect, of angering many party members, causing them to be more likely to rebel, and thus make the Government look weak, and in disarray. Prime Ministers have always had to pass things that their parties didn’t support, and Cameron is not by far the first PM to have suffered a revolt. But as with U-turns, individually they are no big deal, but together, they paint a picture of a government in trouble.

    We have backbench revolt on Europe, backbench revolt on Lords reform, Conservative MP’s openly attacking the Primeministers stance on issues, Conservative MP’s going on national television calling for the break up of the current structure of government, and not to mention the constant wranglings of the 1922 power structure constantly being fought over. All in the space of 2 years does not paint a pretty picture of a party United.

    While a politician must have broad support from a vast range of backgrounds, Cameron must be careful not to stretch the party so far that it splits.

    I can’t envisage a day when environmentalists, Europhiles, Eurosceptics, the socially conservative, socially liberal, working class members of the public, small business and big business can all unite behind one Conservative banner, or any banner for that matter.

    Cameron politically would be better off going back to those old style ideals, to sure up the base, and just wait for Labour to become unpopular enough that the country eventually turn to them.

    This is not what I want to happen, but thinking what would be better for them politically.

  28. There’s an interesting YouGov article on “Valence” branding.

    I would suggest that Milliband is ahead on branding and sticking to his principles.

    Is it possible that once a Government loses the “trustworthy” brand it is doomed?

  29. Nickp – (a) the idea that Lord Ashcroft subscribes to a core-vote right-wing is common, but frankly bizarre given he has written at great length in his books Smell the Coffee and Minority Report about why that is the wrong strategy for the Tories and he was extremely critical of the Michael Howard strategy. His views are, essentially, the opposite of the ones you think he has and while he owns Tim’s website his views on strategy are often extremely different from Tim’s.

    You might not know it from the Telegraph article as it mentions welfare, Europe, immigration but given Ashcroft’s well publicised views I suspect the caveats to those mentions “Well-thought-out” immigration policy, and Europe… but no referendum are the critical bits.

    Anyway, see his rebuttal to Peter Oborne for similar suggestions about his views

    (b) This is a polling website, I thought you should have noticed by now that while the public are indeed very hostile to privatisation, a substantial majority do tend to support being tough on crime, being hostile to immigration, support many welfare cuts and are Eurosceptic. You’ll also find there is very little difference on those subjects between people in the north and south.

  30. aw

    It’s a bit of a mystery then when tough on crime, welfare-cutting, Eurosceptic parties don’t ever get a majority in the house of Commons.

  31. @Anmary

    I don’t think a break in 2014 is likely or necessarily a positive thing for the coalition parties.

    The break you describe would almost certainly lead to either an immediate election (because how else could the LibDems demonstrate independence other than by picking a fight?), or accusations of deceit from Labour because there would have to be a “secret” coalition to avoid the above…

    Besides this, in an election DC is free to hark back to his core voters if he wants. The coalition was necessary in 2010, but now it’s time to vote for clear blue water. The LDs are free to try the same (clear Orange water?).

  32. Not a mystery at all – none are particularly important drivers of voting intention (especially not in terms of positioning- note the core message of Peter’s article you quoted!)

  33. the sheep

    Clear muddy water perhaps?

  34. There’s a good YouGov article by John Humphry’s on outsourcing.

    The valence answer would be to opt for whatever provides the best service at the best price for the taxpayer. But oddly there sems to be no evidence (a bit like the optimum higher tax rate) to prove what actually does provide both savings and better service.

  35. very rogue apostrophe there.

  36. They have a life of their own the little bugger’s.

  37. Anthony-thanks for that link to Ashcroft on Oborne-very interesting .

  38. 34/42/9/7

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