Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 44%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 7%, remaining steadily within the margin of error of the 9-10 point Labour leads that YouGov have now been showing for a good month. We are now on the verge of the Summer silly season when political news largely stops. This week, of course, we have the latest news of charges from the phone hacking investigation but come Friday the news agenda will be dominated by the Olympics for weeks and I would expect political activity to ground to a halt.

That said, I remember saying pretty much the same thing a year ago before the riots broke out, so no doubt now I have typed this events will again conspire to prove me wrong!

62 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 33, LAB 44, LD 9, UKIP 7”

1 2
  1. I’m expecting bigger movement tomorrow.

  2. @ Nick P

    Any reason why? And in which direction. :-)

  3. GDP figures not predicted to be good tomorrow but as you say, with the Olympics the implications might not last. Still, a good poll for Labour.

  4. Phone hacking charges together with the “paying cash is tax fraud” stupidity. We might see under 30% for Con again.

  5. Good Evening All.
    Dramatic times in which we live politically.

  6. ICM have now published the detailed tables from their Guardian poll.

    The national splits are:

    Lab 39%
    Con 36%
    LD 14%
    Grn 5%
    UKIP 4%
    oth 2%

    Lab 47%
    SNP 35%
    Con 10%
    LD 9%
    oth –

    Lab 49%
    PC 21%
    Con 20%
    LD 6%
    UKIP 2%
    oth 1%

  7. I’ve just bought a flute.

  8. “I’m expecting bigger movement tomorrow.”

    He’s been on the prunes again.

  9. GDP figures tomorrow will be interesting, but not as interesting as the Euro crisis. I was interested to note @Colin’s post on the last thread, where he laid out reports of the very substantial movements of capital out of the debtor nations into other currencies and things like London property.

    The Telegraph has an online article about a letter signed by 17 pro Euro economists who say that the current EZ is broken, due to it’s fundamental design flaws and poor implementation. Interestingly, they say the primary blame for the crisis “…has been the boom-bust effect of rampant capital flows over the past decade – not delinquent behaviour by feckless nations. “The extent to which markets are currently meting out punishment against specific countries may be a poor reflection of national responsibility,” they stated.”

    We could be days away from a Spanish liquidity crisis and figures suggest Greece will run out of money by August 20th, so I suspect Anthony’s preparations for a quiet summer may again be disturbed.

  10. Interesting article in The Times today, casting doubt on the recession statistics.

  11. BTW – new figures from Greece indicate a 7% contraction is now likely this year, worse than the -5% first forecast. Their economy will have shrunk by 21% over the last four years as a result of austerity.


  12. (Weighted) sample sizes for Stuart Dickson’s country percentages:

    England 442

    Scotland 38

    Wales 30

    The “shy x” adjustment doesn’t make a massive adjustment this month adding one point to Lib Dem and Con and one off Lab.

  13. Yes I think the thing that will disturb the quiet will be further and louder portentous creakings (and odd “glub glub” sounds too, probably not caused by prunes) telling us that the EZ is holed below the waterline.

    Personally I think the EZ was okay while the good times rolled – most things are – it’s just when things went wrong, the flaws were clearly there to see. A bit like a certain passenger ship lost in mid-atlantic on a night to remember.

  14. @CL1945 – any details on the Times story?

    I have to say there is a good deal of questioning about the recession and the stats, but frankly there seem to be just too many indicators from all areas pointing downwards to really make a serious case that the recession is overstated.

  15. @Stuart Dickson

    Those are interesting cross-breaks, but are they based on statistically valid samples sizes? They look plausible on the surface, but I wonder how reliable they may be if they are sub-samples in a national poll.

    Of course, one of the interesting implications of the poll’s results is that it reinforces the argument that Labour are the only truly nationwide party in the United Kingdom. Sure, they have regional strongholds, like all parties, but as the ICM poll suggests, they are the only party with realistic election winning prospects in every corner of the kingdom. Self evidently, the SNP and Plaid Cymru are confined to their own countries, the Tories have only patchy areas of vitality outside the South East of England, and the Lib Dems are virtually disappearing from sizeable tracts of Scotland, England and Wales. Where their last redoubts will be found after May 2015 is anyone’s guess.

    When Labour do well, as they did in 1966, 1997 and 2001, they flourish across the land and this may well be an underestimated strength of the Labour “brand” that analysts ignore when they make their typically downbeat assessments of the party’s electoral prospects. The same people also tend to exaggerate the electoral strength of the Tory Party and, in so doing, seem to overlook, wilfully or not, this extraordinary geographical shrinkage that the party has suffered over the last 20 years or so. It’s almost one of the great untold stories of British politics, in fact, and I think it goes a long way to explaining why they haven’t won a general election outright in very nearly a quarter of a century.

  16. Details of full ICM tables below.

    In summary, raw data shows a 10.9% Labour lead, reduced by 1.3% to 9.6% by the standard (i.e. uncontroversial) turnout adjustment. The lead reduces by a further 4.6% through the (controversial) use of 2010 data, of which 2.0% is the adjustment for 2010 turnout and 2.6% the reallocation of DK/refusals based on 2010 voting (and rounding).

    Raw figures
    Con 31.5%
    Lab 42.4%
    LD 12.5%
    Other 13.6%

    After standard turnout adjustment*
    Con 31.9%
    Lab 41.5%
    LD 12.6%
    Other 13.8%

    After additional 2010 turnout adjustment
    Con 32.7%
    Lab 40.3%
    LD 12.9%
    Other 14.1%

    Published figures after final reallocation of DK/Refusals and rounding
    Con 34%
    Lab 39%
    LD 14%
    Other 13%

    *Should anyone be wondering where this comes from, it’s the voting intention in the COLUMNS in Table 1 multiplied by the mean turnout value at the bottom of each column.

  17. ALEC,
    The Business Editor, I think, pointed to lots of activity in the economy.

  18. @C1945 – Thanks. It’s probably all cash in hand.

  19. @Anthony Wells
    I was surprised by your comment earlier that ComRes also reallocate DKs and refusals back to 2010 voting should their squeeze question fail to tease out underlying allegiances, because I hadn’t previously picked that up.

    Do you know if this is a relatively recent change (bearing in mind their changes to methodology at the start of the 2012) or does it data back to 2010 at least?

  20. @Phil

    Thanks again for your ICM breakdowns.

  21. @ Alec

    LOL :-)

  22. @CL45

    Lots of activity in the super rich areas of the economy. Stagnation, falling wages, falling standard of living,everywhere else. The Business Editor of The Times clearly has more,in common with the former.

  23. Nick p – almost nobody gives a toss about sleb phone yacking in Broxtowe. I suspect the Tories will chip away at polls

  24. This is a rotten flute site.


    Is that because its one of them ConLD coalitions.

  26. I think that phone hacking is pretty much factored into things now isn’t it? Everyone knows Cameron was close to both Coulson and Brooks, those who think he was too close won’t be surprised, and those who think he wasn’t probably believe they’ll get off/can’t judge him for it?

    Maybe a guilty sentence would change things but I can’t imagine anything moving because of hacking again till then. I believe the “paying in cash = morally wrong” is something that is more likely to hurt CON figures, both offending those who pay in cash and those who receive cash payments, maybe not suddenly but it’s all drip, drip, drip at the moment for the Tories, i don’t think they’ve closed the valve and they’re still on damage limitation rather than pushing to improve their VI.

  27. @ChrisLane1945

    You said “…Interesting article in The Times today, casting doubt on the recession statistics…”

    There are *always* doubt on the statistics: people say things like “adjustments”, “doubt”, and then pooh-pooh them (there’s a “Yes Minister” quote about if figures haven’t been questioned, then…question them). But they won’t change much: a 1pt fall isn’t going to turn into a 5pt rise. We’re either flatlining or gently declining, take a pick.


    You said “…I’m expecting bigger movement tomorrow…”

    Er, two days before the opening of the 2012 Olympics?


    Bizarrely, your flute segue is not the oddest digression there’s ever been on this site.

    @Colin, @Alec, @Howard

    Re selling your Euros: it looks like we’re doing “race to the bottom, lap 2”

    Regards, Martyn

  28. Martyn: You don’t half say “er” a lot.

  29. I used to sell musical instruments for a living. What make is the flute?
    I think Anthony’s conclusions are a little surprising given the circumstances. There is quite a lot simmering which isn’t very favourable for the Tories at the moment. It is true however that the Olympics will provide a big distraction.

  30. Roger Mexico, the correct ICM/Guardian sub-sample sizes are:

    Unweighted 867
    Weighted 866

    Unweighted 86
    Weighted 85

    Unweighted 51
    Weighted 53

    The English findings are likely to be far more reliable than the Welsh ones, but as Crossbat sauys above, they all look entirely plausible, and are completely in line with other data we have (IpsosMORI, ComRes, Populus, YG etc).

    An interesting thing that I had missed when I looked at those figures yesterday was the Westminster coalition’s combined VI figures:

    Lib-Con combined VI by country:

    England 50%
    Wales 26%
    Scotland 19%

    That the Coalition is approximately twice as popular in England as in the 2 celtic neighbours ought not to surprise anyone who knows anything about Scottish and Welsh folk.

  31. Phil,
    You beat me to it!
    Changes from pre-adjustment last month –

    Lab 42.4 (-0.7)
    Con 31.5 (+0.3)
    Lib 12.5 (+0.2)
    So just like headline VI, no real change.

    One set of figures you missed out was the Blair question. I shall beat you to one thing after all!

    Pre-Adjusted Blair VI figures (vs Miliband VI)
    Con – 31.1 (-0.4)
    Lab – 39.5 (-2.9)
    Lib – 14.2 (+1.7)

    And post-adjustment (vs Miliband)
    Con – 34 (nc)
    Lab – 36 (-3)
    Lib – 15 (+1)

    Interesting that it still doesn’t grab many Tory voters, so it seems that strategy may be a lost game. But pushing to the Blairite wing means a loss of (presumably ex-LibDem) voters (some returning “home” – some not).

  32. @Chris @Alec @Martyn
    This is what we’ve heard every time a negative GDP figure comes out – “Don’t worry, it’ll be revised up.”
    And every time we’ve had a revision since the election (IIRC), it’s been downward.
    The main cause of a fall in GDP we’ve had – despite a rise in investment, exports and a fall in imports – is the fall in domestic household spending so unless the indicators are for that sector, I have my doubts we’ll see a reversal of the trends.
    It’s one of those odd things where journalists pick a data point (“But exports are up!”) and therefore the whole economy must be up. A little bit like ‘It’s snowing, therefore global warming is a hoax’.

    And IIRC, the only reason that Labour’s late 2009/early 2010 growth figures were revised up so much recently is that the recession of 2008 was deeper than originally thought so it’s a lower base to grow from.

  33. And just to put some figures on that (Q1 2012 data, obviously I don’t work for ONS so have no Q2)

    Growth since Q2 2010 (coalition formed) = 0.5%
    Export growth since Q2 2010 = 4.7%
    Domestic household spending = -1.7%
    Investment = -0.8% [1]
    Unfortunately, household spending accounts for 45% of all domestic spending, so the drop in that is the largest cause of drop in general GDP – the only thing that’s been causing GDP to remain stable at around 0% since the formation of the coalition is the rest of it.

    [1] Don’t have time to crunch all of the numbers, but IIRC this was growing rapidly up until very recently – the trend in investment isn’t a fall.

  34. Good Morning All.

    Thanks for your post on the economy.
    In Sunny Bournemouth there is a great deal of activity in cafes and in hotels and in building.

    However, there is also another Bournemouth with empty shops and food banks.

    I suspect some parts of the UK are doing well, and other communities are suffering.

    The Coulson and Brooks affair will, I think, only have a major effect if the cases result in guilty verdicts.

  35. Stuart Dickson

    Roger Mexico, the correct ICM/Guardian sub-sample sizes are:

    England … Weighted 866

    Scotland … Weighted 85

    Wales … Weighted 53

    No they’re not. If you’re quoting the usual sort of percentage as you did, in the British fashion with all the Don’t Knows, Will Not Votes and Refuseds taken out, you need to take them out of the sample size as well, which gives you the figures I quoted (page 5 of ICM’s pdf). Why their weighted figures are about 10% higher than unweighted though is something I don’t know.

    It’s easily made mistake (I used to do it all the time and even Anthony fell for it a few weeks back) and one almost invariably made in the press, but it’s more than just pedantry. Particularly with telephone polls (where cost means that samples are smaller to start with and you have refusals as well as DDKs and WNVs) it can mean that effective whole sample sizes get knocked back from around 1,000 to 500 with a big, and usually ignored rise in margin of error.

    Small subsamples such as those for Scotland and Wales may produce something that looks plausible, but the probability of getting a rogue result is so high that they can’t really be relied on (that’s even before you consider whether their separately weighted).

  36. EM reported to have ruled out a UK referendum on EU , during his love -in with Hollande.

    Hollande seeing the realities of government fairly soon after the rhetoric of opposition :-

    “France’s independent auditing agency, set out the challenge facing Mr Hollande if he is to meet – as he says he will – the EU deficit target of 3 per cent of GDP. That will require cuts or tax rises of up to 12.6 billion euros this year, 33 billion next year. According to Didier Migaud, the head of the agency, this will mean an “unprecedented brake on spending” as well as higher taxes.”

    “Peugeot-Citroën is sacking 8,000 workers because the cost of maintaining production in France rather than outsourcing to cheaper countries is wrecking its balance sheet. High social and employment charges mean that it costs 35 euros an hour to employ a car worker in France compared to 10 euros an hour in eastern Europe.”

    His 75% tax rate is now subject to a constitutional challenge, on the grounds that it is not taxation but confiscation.

    ….and his poll ratings are already falling.

    Take note Ed :-) :-) :-)

  37. @chrislane1945 – “The Coulson and Brooks affair will, I think, only have a major effect if the cases result in guilty verdicts.”

    The Independent speculates that these trials will continue to generate bad headlines for years – up to the next election.

    The charge announced yesterday, only relate to the period 2000-2006.

    Any charges against Brooks (C&R) relating to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in July 2011 would be closer to home for Cameron. More importantly imo, continued interest will encourage journalists to keep digging. One would also expect events between September 2010 (NY Times investigation) and January 2011 (Coulson’s resignation) to fall under the spotlight.

  38. GDP -0.7%.


  39. -0.7%


  40. @Alec

    I predict it was (in no particular order):

    The rain
    The Jubilee
    The Europe
    The May Day bank holiday

  41. jeeez

    You can add that to the hacking and cash.


  42. paulcroft

    “I’ve just bought a flute”

    I’ve got 35, none of them metal..

  43. New poll findings from UK Government survey:

    ‘Wellbeing index points way to bliss: live on a remote island, and don’t work’
    – First annual results of Measuring National Wellbeing Programme show teenagers and pensioners have key to happiness

    “… Responses by 165,000 people in the annual population survey reveal the average rating of “life satisfaction” in Britain is 7.4 out of 10 and 80% of people gave a rating of seven or more when asked whether the things they did in their lives were “worthwhile”. But those levels vary widely, with residents of the local authority of Eilean Siar, Orkney & Shetland recording the UK’s highest satisfaction levels of 8.1 out of 10 and Thurrock last at 7.09, behind Blackburn with Darwen (7.1) and Blackpool (7.11). Asked how anxious they had felt the previous day, Middlesbrough scored most anxiety – 3.6 out of 10… “

  44. Roger Mexico,

    As I’m sure you well know, sample sizes are ALWAYS quoted “gross”, so newspapers report that Blah Blah polling firm sampled 1,005 GB adults on 3-4 May 20??. They do not say “sampled 531 GB adults who gave a useable response”.

    By tryng to diminish the sizes of the Eng,Scot, Wal subsamples, you are comparing apples with pears.

  45. Stuart Dickson

    “That the Coalition is approximately twice as popular in England as in the 2 celtic neighbours ought not to surprise anyone who knows anything about Scottish and Welsh folk.”

    For all the navel gazing about MOE and weighting, known unknowns and the like, percentages like those you quote have a spurious appearance of precision

    RANKING on such as leader approval and your comment above tells us what the wood looks like better than counting the trees does.

  46. Stuart Dickson

    All the people who were unhappy with life in the Western Isles have left it. Those who reached puberty before 1939 had a homing instinct and there was an excess of elderly which is now gone.

  47. Worst double dip recession on record.

    As the IMF have said, if Plan A is not working, you need to implement Plan B.

    If Spain and Italy need a bail out ( not just the banks), we could see this recession go on for years. Somehow the worlds biggest countries via the G20, need to get an action plan together that is not purely based on austerity. There needs to be massive government interventions into most aspects, which right of centre parties will not be happy with. By interventions, I mean governments taking over more banks, closing down tax havens and heavily regulating financial markets; And for governments via state owned investment banks, to pump money into infrastructure projects, house building and investment in businesses with order books, but not the money to fulfill the orders.

  48. r huckle

    Yes. But most of all, if they are going to print money they need to dodge the (insolvent) banks and get it into the economy where it will be spent.

  49. I have long been thinking that the banks need to be bypassed, if overall they are not helping the wider economy. That might seem horribly socialist but this appears to be no normal recession. It seems this silly season isn’t going to be quiet.

  50. Thanks SD for the national breakdowns. I suppose the sample size is too small (each) for accuracy surely?

    Taking the general picture, would it be true to say the Conservatives are now geographically where the republicans are in USA, except that the GOP ‘hollows out’ that country and the Tories weigh down the bottom half of ours?

    Phil and TF, thanks for the adjustment factors used by ICM. I had not realised they made such little difference to the LD VI for which previously i thought it was chiefly responsible for that VI being above YouGov’s by 4% or more (???).

1 2